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Title: Nineteen Centuries of Drink in England - A History
Author: French, Richard Valpy
Language: English
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                           NINETEEN CENTURIES
                            DRINK IN ENGLAND

                              _A HISTORY_


                          RICHARD VALPY FRENCH
                          D.C.L., LL.D., F.S.A.



                        33 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.

                        _All rights reserved_

                     PRINTED BY LORIMER AND GILLIES,
                         31 ST. ANDREW SQUARE.


The earlier part of this slight contribution to the literature of an
inexhaustible subject has already appeared in a series of numbers in
a London weekly journal. The best acknowledgment of the writer is due
to the Rev. ARTHUR RICHARD SHILLITO, M.A. (late Scholar of Trinity
College, Cambridge), who has from time to time during the progress of
this work most kindly furnished him with valuable notes.


The object of this work is to ascertain the part which Drink has played
in the individual and national life of the English people. To this
end, an inquiry is instituted into the beverages which have been in
use, the customs in connection with their use, the drinking vessels in
vogue, the various efforts made to control or prohibit the use, sale,
manufacture, or importation of strong drink, whether proceeding from
Church, or State, or both: the connection of the drink traffic with
the revenue, together with incidental notices of banquets, feasts, the
pledging of healths, and other relevant matter.

It must interest every thoughtful being to know how our national life
and national customs have come to be what they are. They have not
sprung up in a night like a mushroom. They have been forming for ages.
Each day has contributed something. The great river of social life,
ever flowing onward to the ocean of eternity, has been constantly fed
by the tributaries of necessity, appetite, fashion, fancy, vanity,
caprice, and imitation. Man is a bundle of habits and customs.

With some, it is true, life is mere routine, a round of
conventionalities; literally ‘one day telleth another;’ with others,
each day is a reality, has its fresh plan, is a rational item in the
account of life. To these nothing is without its meaning; there is a
definiteness, a precision, about its hours of action, of thought, of
diversion, of ministering to the bodily claims of sustenance by eating
and drinking. Around the latter, social life has fearfully encircled
itself. The world was, and still is,--

    ‘On hospitable thoughts intent.’

The latter days are but a repetition of the former. ‘As it was ... so
shall it be also. They did eat, they drank.’

Social life is intimately connected with the social or festive board;
in short, with eating and drinking, because these are a necessity of
nature. Other customs and habits may be fleeting, but men must eat, men
must drink. Food ministers not only to the principle of life, but to
that of brain force also. Thought is stimulated, activity is excited,
man becomes communicable. He then seeks society and enjoys it. Thus has
social intercourse gathered round the social board. Eating and drinking
are two indispensable factors in dealing with the history of a nation’s
social life. Adopting the adage by way of accommodation, ‘In vino
veritas,’ truth is out when wine is in, once know the entire history of
a nation’s drinking, and you have important materials for gauging that
nation’s social life.

For obvious reasons, a division has been adopted of the subject into
periods, in some respects artificial so far as the present inquiry
is concerned. The Romano-British period has been selected as the
_terminus a quo_. It might have been speculatively interesting to
penetrate further into the arcana of the past, to have inquired who
were the earliest inhabitants of this country? Were they aborigines,
natives of the soil, or were they colonists? Had they an independent
tribal existence, or were they originally a part of that great Asiatic
family who emigrated into and peopled Western Europe, and to whom the
Romans gave the name of Gauls?

Had such an inquiry been relevant, the question would have been of
immense importance; for drawing, as one must, considerably upon
imagination in dealing with any period not strictly historic, one must
either regard the primitive inhabitants as independent aborigines, and
accommodate their supplies to their wants, or, regarding them as an
offshoot from another nation, suppose them to have carried with them
the customs of their parent tribe, and find the sought-for habits of
the child in the ascertained habits of the parent.

But we are concerned with fact; and must therefore date from a period
when facts, however meagre and involved, are forthcoming.

A chapter of _Bibliography_ is appended for the benefit of any who
might wish to prosecute a study, of which the present effort is a mere


    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Accum, F.           |_Adulterations of Food_                | 1820
    Ackroyd, W.         |_History and Science of Drunkenness_   | 1883
    Adair, R. G.        |_The Question of the Times_            | 1869
    Agg-Gardner, J. T.  |_Compulsory Temperance_ (Fortnightly)  | 1884
    Alcock, Rev. T.     |_Observations on ... a late Act of     | 1756
                        |  Parliament_                          |
    Alford, S. S.       |_On Drink-Craving_                     | 1875
    Ames, R.            |_Bacchanalian Sessions_                | 1693
    Anderson, A.        |_Trade and Commerce_                   | 1762
    Anstie, Dr. F. E.   |_Stimulants and Narcotics_             | 1864
       ”        ”       |_On the Uses of Wines_                 | 1877
    Armstrong, Dr. J.   |_The Art of Preserving Health_         | 1744
    Arnold, R. A.       |_English Drunkenness_                  | 1877
    Ashton, J.          |_Old Times_                            | 1885
    Assheton, Dr. W.    |_A Discourse against Drunkenness_      | 1692
    Arthur, T. S.       |_Ten Nights in a Bar-Room_             | 1871
    Aspin, J.           |_A Picture of the Manners, &c._        | 1825
    Atkinson, F. P.     |_A Cause of Alcoholism_                | 1879
    Austin, Major       |_Cup Draining._ (Bristol Magazine)     | 1857
                        |                                       |
    Bacon, G. W.        |_Alcohol at the Bar_                   | 1878
    Baker, W. R.        |_The Curse of Britain_                 | 1840
      ”     ”           |_Intemperance the Idolatry of Great    | 1851
                        |  Britain_                             |
    Barnaby, A.         |_Proposals for laying a Duty on Malt_  | 1696
    Barber, M. A. S.    |_Bartholomew Faire_                    | 1641
    Barclay, Dr. J.     |_Ale, Wine, Spirits_                   | 1861
    Barrow, J. H.       |_Temperance and Teetotalism_           | 1845
    Barry, Sir E.       |_Observations on the Wines of the      | 1775
                        |  Ancients_                            |
    Basil, S.           |_Homilia Contra Ebrios_                |  --
    Bayly, Mrs.         |_Ragged Homes_                         | 1860
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Baynes, C. R.       |_Two Discourses on Sickness of Wine_   | 1669
    Beale, J.           |_A Treatise of Cyder_                  | 1665
    Beardsall, F.       |_Nature and Properties of Wines_       | 1839
    Beaumont, Dr. T.    |_A Lecture on Ardent Spirits_          | 1830
    Beddoes, Dr. T.     |_A Guide for Self-Preservation_        | 1793
    Beecher, Dr. Lyman  |_Sermons on Intemperance_              | 1826
    Beggs, T.           |_Dear Bread and Wasted Grain_          | 1856
    Bell, Dr. J.        |_Action of Spirituous Liquors_         | 1791
    Bennet, Dr. D. W.   |_Alcohol: Use and Abuse_               | 1883
    Bernard, S.         |_De Ordine Vitæ_                       |  --
    Bickerdyke, J.      |_Curiosities of Ale and Beer_          |  --
    Bradley, R.         |_The Riches of the Hop Garden_         | 1729
    Brewster, J.        |_The Evils of Drunkenness_             | 1832
    Bridgett, T. E.     |_The Discipline of Drink_              | 1876
    Brown, Dr. A.       |_Advice respecting Water Drinking_     | 1707
    Browne, Sir T.      |_Pseudodoxia Epidemica_                | 1646
    Browne, Dr. Peter   |_Discourse of Drinking Healths_        | 1716
       ”        ”       |_Of Drinking in Remembrance of the     | 1715
                        |  Dead_                                |
    Bruce, E.           |_Digest of Evidence before the         | 1835
                        |  Committee of Parliament_             |
    Brunton, Dr. L.     |_The Influence of Stimulants_          | 1883
    Burgh, J.           |_A Warning to Dram Drinkers_           | 1751
    Burn, J. H.         |_Descriptive Catalogue of London       | 1855
                        |  Traders_                             |
    Burne, Peter        |_The Teetotallers Companion_           | 1847
    Burns, Dr. D.       |_Drink, Drunkenness and the Drink      | 1862
                        |  Traffic_                             |
      ”      ”          |_The Bible and Total Abstinence_       | 1869
      ”      ”          |_The Bases of Temperance Reform_       | 1872
      ”      ”          |_Christendom and the Drink Curse_      | 1875
    Buckingham, J. S.   |_Evidence on Drunkenness_              | 1834
        ”         ”     |_Earnest Plea for the Reign of         | 1851
                        |  Temperance_                          |
        ”         ”     |_History and Progress of the Temperance| 1854
                        |  Reformation_                         |
    Bucknill, J. C.     |_Habitual Drunkenness_                 | 1878
    Bury, E.            |_The Deadly Danger of Drunkenness_     | 1671
    Butler, W. R.       |_The Idolatry of Britain_              |  --
       ”      ”         |_The Curse of Britain_                 | 1838
    Buxton, C.          |_How to stop Drunkenness_ (North       | 1855
                        |  British Review)                      |
                        |                                       |
    Caine, W.           |_Thoughts on Wines and Temperance_     | 1882
    Capil               |_On the Laws of Drunkenness_           |  --
    Carlysle, Dr. A.    |_Pernicious Effects of Liquors_        | 1810
        ”       ”       |_Moral Influence of Fermented Liquors_ | 1837
    Carpenter, Dr. W. B.|_Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors_   | 1851
        ”        ”      |_The Moderate Use, &c._                | 1853
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
                        |                                       |
    Carpenter, Dr. W. B.|_Physiology of Temperance_             | 1853
    Carpenter, Dr. A.   |_Alcoholic Drinks not Necessaries_     | 1882
    Chadwick, Sir E.    |_Various Reports, Speeches, &c., dating| 1842
                        |  from_                                |
    Chadwick, Dr. J.    |_An Essay on Alcoholic Liquors_        | 1849
    Charleton, Dr.      |_Mystery of Vintners_                  | 1692
    Child, S.           |_Every Man his own Brewer_             | 1797
    Christison, Sir R.  |_A Treatise on Poisons_                | 1829
         ”       ”      |_The Habit of Intemperance_            | 1861
    Clark, Sir Andrew   |_Alcohol in Small Doses_               | 1881
         ”       ”      |_An Enemy of the Race_                 | 1882
    Clarke, S.          |_The British Gauger_                   | 1762
    Close, Dean         |_Why I have taken the Pledge_          | 1860
    Collier, J. P.      |_Collection of Ordinances_             | 1790
    Collinson, J.       |_Crack Club_                           | 1858
           ”            |_The Gaol Cradle_                      | 1875
    Confalonarius, J. B.|_De Vini Naturâ_                       | 1535
    Conybeare, W. J.    |_Social Essays_                        | 1855
    Cornwalleys, H.     |_The Law of Drinking_                  | 1705
    Cornaro, L.         |_De Vitæ Sobriæ Commodis_              | 1678
    Coryn, H. A. W.     |_Moral and Physical Advantages of      | 1888
                        |  Total Abstinence_                    |
    Couling, S.         |_The Traffic in Intoxicating Drinks_   | 1855
         ”              |_History of the Temperance Movement_   | 1862
         ”              |_Teetotalism v. Alcohol_               | 1863
    Crane, J. T.        |_The Arts of Intoxication_             | 1877
    Crespi, Dr. A.      |_Various Essays and Lectures, dating   | 1870
                        |  from_                                |
    Cruikshank, G.      |_The Bottle_                           | 1847
          ”             |_A Sequel to The Bottle_               | 1848
          ”             |_The Glass_                            | 1853
                        |                                       |
    Daniel, Geo.        |_Merrie England in ye Olden Time_      | 1842
             ”          |_Democritus in London_                 | 1852
    Darby, C.           |_Bacchanalia_                          | 1680
    Deacon              |_The Innkeeper’s Album_                | 1823
    Dearden, J.         |_Short Account of Drunkenness_         | 1840
    Decker, Th.         |_The Gull’s Horne-booke_               | 1609
         ”              |_English Villaines Prest to Death_     | 1632
    Defoe, Dan.         |_The Poor Man’s Plea_                  | 1698
    De Laune            |_Present State of London_              | 1681
    Denham, Sir J.      |_Calf’s Head Club_                     | 1713
    Dewhurst, W. H.     |_Physiology of Drunkenness_            | 1838
    Dickson, Dr.        |_Fallacies of the Faculty_             | 1839
    Digby, Sir K.       |_Closet Opened_                        | 1677
    Disney, John.       |_View of Ancient Laws against          | 1710
                        |  Immorality_                          |
    Doran, Dr.          |_Table Traits_                         | 1854
    Dossie, R.          |_On Spirituous Liquors_                | 1770
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Downham, John       |_Disswasion from Drunkenness_          | 1613
    Druik, Dr. L.       |_Cheap Wines_                          | 1865
    Duncan, Dr.         |_Wholesome Advice_                     | 1706
    Dunckley, H.        |_The Shame and the Glory of Britain_   | 1849
    Dunlop, J.          |_National Intemperance_                | 1828
       ”                |_The Wine System of Great Britain_     | 1831
       ”                |_Philosophy of Drinking Usages_        | 1839
                        |                                       |
    Earle, John         |_Microcosmographie_                    | 1628
    Edgar, John         |_Drinks of the Hebrews_                | 1837
    Edmunds, Dr. J.     |_Non-Alcoholic Treatment_              | 1876
          ”             |_Alcoholic Drinks as Diet_             | 1879
    Edwards, Edwin      |_Collection of Old English Inns_       | 1873
    Edwards, Henry      |_Charities and Old English Customs_    | 1842
    Ellis, Mrs          |_A Voice from the Vintage_             | 1843
        ”               |_Pictures of Private Life_             | 1844
    Ellison, Canon      |_The Church Temperance Movement_       | 1878
    Esquiroz, Alphonze  |_The English at Home_                  |  --
    Evelyn, John        |_Tyrannus; Sumptuary Laws_             | 1661
                        |                                       |
    Fairholt, F. W.     |_Lord Mayor’s Pageants_                | 1843
    Farrar, Archdeacon  |_Numerous Lectures, Articles, &c._     |  --
    Fleetwood, Bishop   |_Chronicon Preciosum_                  | 1707
    Flower, R.          |_Observations on Beer_                 | 1802
    Forbes, Sir J.      |_Temperance: An Enquiry_               | 1847
    Forster, Dr. T.     |_Physiological Reflections_            | 1812
    Fosbroke, T. D.     |_British Monachism_                    | 1817
    Fredericus, J.      |_De Ritu Bibendi_                      |  --
    Freeman, G.         |_Exhortation from Drunkenness_         | 1663
    French, R. V.       |_History of Toasting_                  | 1881
         ”              |_Personal Advantages of Abstinence_    | 1878
    Frinus, D.          |_Spirits and Wine Offending Man’s      | 1668
                        |  Body_                                |
    Friscolinus         |_In Ebrietat_                          |  --
                        |                                       |
    Gairdner, Dr. W. E. |_On Alcoholic Stimulants_              | 1861
    Gale, Rev. H.       |_Apostolic Temperance_                 | 1856
    Garbult, R.         |_A Sober Testimony_                    | 1675
    Gascoigne, G.       |_The Pryncelye Pleasure at Kenilworth_ | 1576
          ”             |_The Steele Glas, a Satyre_            | 1576
    Gay, John           |_Poem on Wine_                         | 1727
    Gayton, Edmund      |_Art of Longevity_                     | 1659
    Geree, John         |_Potion for the Cure of Unnatural      | 1648
                        |  Health-Drinking_                     |
    Gesner, C.          |_Contra Luxum Conviviorum_             |  --
    Gibson, E.          |_Earnest Dissuasive_                   | 1750
    Gilmore, A.         |_Our Drinks_                           | 1856
    Gladstone, Rev. G.  |_Good Templarism_                      | 1873
    Godschall, W. M.    |_Monitions concerning Ale-house        | 1787
                        |  Keepers_                             |
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Goodwin, M.         |_An Address to the Nobility on         | 1819
                        |  Distillation_                        |
    Googe, B.           |_Noageorgus_                           | 1570
    Gough, J. B.        |_Autobiography of_                     | 1879
        ”               |_Orations_                             | 1886
    Gratarolus, W.      |_De Vini Naturâ_                       | 1565
    Greenfield, W. S.   |_Alcohol, its Use and Abuse_           | 1878
    Greenwood, J.       |_The Seven Curses of London_           |  --
    Greenwood, E.       |_Lectures on Intemperance_             | 1837
    Grier, R. M.        |_Numerous Pamphlets, Articles, &c._    |1870-89
    Grindrod, R. B.     |_Bacchus_                              | 1839
    Grose, F.           |_Worn out Characters of the Last Age_  |  --
    Gunning, H.         |_Reminiscences of Cambridge from 1780_ |  --
    Gustafson, Axel     |_The Foundation of Death_              | 1884
    Gutch, J.           |_Collectanea Curiosa_                  | 1781
    Guthrie, Dr. T.     |_A Plea for Drunkards_                 |  --
    Guy, Dr.            |_Intemperance_ (Weekly Record)         | 1857
                        |                                       |
    Hales, S.           |_The Unwholesomeness of Liquors_       | 1750
    Hall, Thomas        |_Funebria Floræ_                       | 1660
    Hall, J.            |_Drink Thirst: Its Treatment_          | 1880
    Harris, R.          |_The Drunkard’s Cup_                   | 1635
    Harris, Dr. Sylvanus|_Inebriety_                            | 1872
    Harwood, Dr. E.     |_Of Temperance and Intemperance_       | 1774
    Haynes, M.          |_Against Drunkenness_                  | 1701
    Heath, Benjamin     |_The Case of the County of Devon_      |  --
    Henderson, Dr. A.   |_History of Ancient and Modern Wines_  | 1824
    Henry, Rev. W.      |_Earnest Addresses against Drinking,   | 1761
                        |  &c._                                 |
    Heslop, T. P.       |_The Abuse of Alcohol_                 | 1872
          ”             |_Our Drinking Customs_                 | 1878
    Heywood, Thomas     |_London Harbour of Health_             | 1635
       ”        ”       |_The Marriage Triumph_                 | 1613
       ”        ”       |_Philocothonista; or, The Drunkard     | 1635
                        |  Opened_                              |
       ”        ”       |_London Speculum_                      | 1637
    Higginbottom, J.    |_On the Treatment of Disease without   | 1862
                        |  Stimulants_ (Brit. Med. Journ., Vol. |
                        |  II.)                                 |
    Hill, J.            |_Friendly Warnings_ v. _Drunkenness_   | 1831
    Hingeston, H.       |_Dreadful Alarm_                       | 1703
    Hobson              |_Household Expenses of Sir John        | 1466
                        |  Howard_                              |
    Hodgkin, Dr.        |_Promoting Health_                     | 1835
    Hone, W.            |_Everyday Book. Year Book_             | 1825
    Hopkins, W. B.      |_H. Sc. Temperance_                    | 1871
    Hornby, W.          |_The Scourge of Drunkenness_           | 1614
    Horsely, J.         |_Toxicologist’s Guide_                 | 1866
    Horsely, J. W.      |_Numerous Articles, Lectures, &c._     |1875-89
    Hospinianus         |_De Festis Christianorum_              | 1593
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Hoyle, W.           |_Intemperance and Crime_               | 1864
       ”                |_Total Abstinence_                     | 1874
       ”                |_Our National Drink Bill_              |1884, &c.
    Howard, C.          |_The Touchstone of Adulteration_       |  --
    Hudson, Thomas      |_Numerous Articles, Lectures, &c._     |1849-89
    Hughes, W.          |_Complete Vineyard_                    | 1665
    Husenbeth           |_Guide to the Wine-cellar_             |  --
    Huss                |_Alcoholismus Chronicus_               | 1851
                        |                                       |
    Ingestre, Viscount  |_Meliora; or, Better Times_            | 1852
        ”        ”      |_Ancient Laws and Customs of the       |  --
                        |  Burghs_                              |
    Inwards, J.         |_Essays on Temperance_                 | 1849
                        |                                       |
    Jeaffreson, J. C.   |_A Book about the Table_               | 1875
    Jeffreys, Archibald |_The Religious Objections_             | 1840
        ”        ”      |_Alcoholic Wines_                      | 1845
    Jenkins, E.         |_The Devil’s Chain_                    | 1876
    Jerrold, D.         |_Cakes and Ale_                        | 1852
    Johnson, J.         |_Laws and Canons_                      | 1720
    Jole, W.            |_Warning to Drunkards_                 | 1680
    Jones, A.           |_The Dreadful Character of a Drunkard_ | 1660
    Junius, R.          |_The Drunkard’s Character_             | 1638
                        |                                       |
    Kempe, A. J.        |_Losely MSS. Illustrative of English   | 1835
                        |  Manners_                             |
    Kennet, Bishop      |_Parochial Antiquities_                | 1695
    Kerr, Dr. N.        |_The Action of Alcoholic Liquors_      | 1876
        ”               |_Intemperance and its Remedy_          | 1878
        ”               |_Diseases from Alcohol_                | 1882
        ”               |_The Truth about Alcohol_              | 1884
        ”               |_Numerous Articles and Lectures_       |  --
    Kester              |_De immoderatâ Adbibendi consuetudine_ |  --
    Kirton, J. W.       |_Intoxicating Drinks_                  | 1879
    Knight, T.          |_Pomona Herefordiensis_                | 1809
                        |                                       |
    Lacey, W. J.        |_The Case for Total Abstinence_        | 1889
    Lamb, C.            |_Essays of Elia_                       | 1833
    Lambarde, W.        |_Lamentable Complaints_                | 1641
    Lankester, Dr. E.   |_On Food_                              | 1861
    Larwood, J.         |_History of Signboards_                | 1866
    Lees, Dr. F. R.     |_History of the Wine Question_         | 1840
      ”       ”         |_Essays on the Temperance Question_    | 1853
      ”       ”         |_Agreement for Legislative Prohibition_| 1856
      ”       ”         |_Science Temperance Text Book, &c.,    | 1884
                        |  &c._                                 |
    Lawson, Sir W.      |_Numerous Articles, Lectures,          |  --
                        |  Parliamentary Speeches, &c._         |
    Lemerry, L.         |_Treatise of Foods and Drinkables_     | 1745
                        |  (Translated by Dr. D. Hay)           |
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Levi, Leone         |_On the Wine Trade and Duties_         | 1866
     ”     ”            |_Consumption of Spirits_               | 1872
    Levison, J. L.      |_Hereditary Tendency of Drunkenness_   | 1839
    Lewis, David        |_Britain’s Social State_               | 1872
      ”      ”          |_The Drink Problem, and its Solution_  | 1883
    Lightbody, J.       |_The Gauger’s Companion_               | 1694
    Livesey, J.         |_Lecture on Malt Liquor_               | 1832
         ”              |_Reminiscences_                        | 1867
    Lucas, Dr. T. P.    |_The Laws of Life and Alcohol_         | 1877
    Lupton, D.          |_The Country Carbonadoed_              | 1632
    Lash, W. J. H.      |_Chronic Alcoholism_                   | 1873
                        |                                       |
    Macdonald, G. B.    |_Apology for the Disuse of Alcohol_    | 1841
    Macnish, R.         |_Anatomy of Drunkenness_               | 1834
    Macpherson, D.      |_Annals of Commerce_                   | 1805
    Macrae, D.          |_Dunvarlich_                           |  --
    Madox, T.           |_History of the Exchequer_             | 1769
    Madden, F.          |_Privy Purse Expenses of Queen Mary_   | 1831
    Madden, R. H.       |_Stimulating Drinks_                   | 1847
    Maffei, Scipio      |_De Compotationibus Academicis_        |  --
    Maguire, J. F.      |_Father Mathew_                        | 1863
    Malcolm, J. P.      |_Manners and Customs of London_        | 1811
    Maltman, J.         |_Teetotalism_                          | 1889
    Marchant, W. T.     |_The Praise of Ale_                    | 1888
    Marcet, W.          |_On Chronic Alcoholic Intoxication_    | 1862
    Markham, J.         |_English Housewife_                    | 1683
    Martyndale, H. F.   |_Analysis of the Calendar_             |  --
    Mayor, Prof.        |_Modicus Cibi_                         | 1880
      J. E. B.          |                                       |
    Miller, Rev. J.     |_The Coffeehouse_                      | 1737
    Miller, Dr. J.      |_Alcohol, its Place and Power_         | 1861
    Mills, J.           |_The Merrie Days of England_           | 1859
    Misson, M.          |_Memoirs and Observations_             | 1719
    Morewood, S.        |_History of Inebriating Liquors_       | 1838
    Moxon, H. E.        |_The Laws Affecting Publicans_         |  --
    Mudie, R.           |_Babylon the Great_                    | 1824
    Mudge, Dr. H.       |_Nature and Obligations of Temperance_ | 1862
    Muirhead, J. P.     |_Drinking Songs_                       | 1875
    Mulder, Prof. C. J. |_Chemistry of Wine_                    | 1857
    Munroe, Dr. H.      |_Alcohol not Food_                     | 1867
    Myrc, John          |_Liber Festivalis_                     |  --
                        |                                       |
    Nash, Th.           |_Pierce Pennilesse_                    | 1595
    Nichols, John       |_The Progresses of Queen Elizabeth,    | 1788
                        |  James I., &c._                       |
       ”      ”         |_Illustrations of Manners and          |  --
                        |  Expenses_                            |
    Nichols, J. G.      |_London Pageants_                      | 1837
    Norris, Edw.        |_Establishment of the Household of H.  | 1770
                        |  Algernon Percy_
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Nott, Dr.           |_Lectures_                             | 1863
                        |                                       |
    Obsopœus, Vinc.     |_De Arte Bibendi_                      | 1578
    Oinophilos, Bon.    |_(Pseud) Praise of Drunkenness_        | 1812
    Osborne, S. J.      |_Hints for the Amelioration, &c._      | 1841
                        |                                       |
    Page, Th.           |_An Earnest Appeal on the Effects of   | 1846
                        |  Beer-houses_                         |
    Paris, Dr. J. A.    |_On Diet_                              | 1837
    Paris, M.           |_Paradise of Dainty Devices_           | 1576
    Parkes, Dr. E. A.   |_Public Health_                        | 1876
    Parsons, Benj.      |_Anti-Bacchus_                         | 1840
    Partridge, S.       |_An Admonition to the Keepers of       |  --
                        |  Inns_                                |
    Pasquil             |_Palinodia and his Progress to the     | 1634
                        |  Tavern_                              |
    Peacham, T.         |_The Art of Living in London_          | 1642
    Pegge, S.           |_The Form of Cury_                     | 1780
        ”               |_Introduction and Condition of the     |  --
                        |  Vine in England_ (Arch. i. 319)      |
    Pengelly, W.        |_Signs of Hotels, &c._                 |  --
    Phelps, C.          |_A Caveat against Drunkenness_         | 1676
    Phillips, J.        |_Cyder_                                | 1708
    Pigot, J. M. B.     |_De Morbis Ebriosorum_                 | 1807
    Poole, T.           |_Treatise on Strong Beer_              | 1785
    Powell, J.          |_The Assyse of Ale_                    |  --
    Powell, F.          |_Bacchus Dethroned_                    | 1870
    Porphyry            |_De Abstinentia_                       |  --
    Pulman, J. P. R.    |_Book of the Axe_                      | 1841
    Prynne, W.          |_Healthe’s Sicknesse_                  | 1628
        ”               |_Pymlico; or Runne Red Cap_            | 1609
                        |                                       |
    Rae, Rob.           |_Handbook of Temperance History_       |  --
    Randall, Th.        |_Arislippus_                           | 1652
        ”               |_The Virtues of a Pot of Good Ale_     | 1642
    Reade, A. A.        |_Study and Stimulants_                 | 1883
    Redding, C.         |_History and Description of Modern     | 1833
                        |  Wines_                               |
    Reeve, Th.          |_God’s Plea for Nineveh_               | 1657
    Reid, W.            |_The Evils of Modern Drinking_         | 1850
        ”               |_Temperance Cyclopædia_                | 1851
        ”               |_Our National Vice_                    | 1858
    Reid, Th.           |_Intemperance Considered_              | 1850
    Ricket, E.          |_Gentleman’s Table Guide_              | 1873
    Rich, Barnaby       |_The Irish Hubbub_                     | 1617
    Richardson, Dr.     |_On Alcohol_ (Cantor Lectures)         | 1875
      B. W.             |                                       |
         ”        ”     |_Researches on Alcohol_                | 1877
         ”        ”     |_Total Abstinence_                     | 1878
         ”        ”     |_Dialogues on Drink_                   | 1878
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
    Richardson, Dr.     |_Drink and Strong Drink_               | 1882
      B. W.             |                                       |
         ”       ”      |_Asclepiad_, passim                    |1884-9
    Rigby, J.           |_The Drunkard’s Perspective_           | 1656
    Ridge, Dr. J.       |_The Temperance Primer_                | 1879
      ”      ”          |_Non-Alcoholic Treatments_             | 1889
    Ritchie, W.         |_Scripture Testimony_                  | 1874
    Robson, W.          |_De Effect Vini et Spiritus_           | 1803
    Roberts, G.         |_Social History of the Southern        | 1856
                        |  Counties_                            |
    Rosewell, H.        |_Religious Revel_                      | 1711
    Russell, A. G.      |_Drinking and Disease_                 | 1868
    Russom, J.          |_Evil Effects of Beer-shops_           | 1849
    Rye, W. B.          |_England as seen by Foreigners_        | 1865
    Rymer, Thomas       |_Roxburghe Revels_                     | 1834
                        |                                       |
    Samuelson, J.       |_The History of Drink_                 | 1878
         ”              |_Beer Scientifically and Socially      | 1870
                        |  Considered_                          |
    Scrivener, M.       |_A Treatise against Drunkenness_       | 1685
    Sedgwick, J. A.     |_New Treatise on Liquors_              | 1725
    Shannon, Dr.        |_On Brewing and Distillation_          | 1805
    Sharman, H. R.      |_A Cloud of Witnesses_                 | 1884
    Shaw, T. G.         |_Wine_                                 | 1864
    Sheen, J. R.        |_Wines and other Fermented Liquors_    | 1864
    Sherlock, F.        |_Shakespeare on Temperance, &c._       | 1882
    Sinclair, Sir J.    |_History of Revenue_                   | 1785
    Smith, Albert       |_Wassail-Bowl_                         | 1843
      ”      ”          |_A Bowl of Punch_                      | 1848
    Smith, Dr. Edward   |_Action of Tea and Alcohol_            | 1860
        ”       ”       |_The Action of Alcohol_                | 1862
                        |  (Journ. Soc. Arts)                   |
        ”       ”       |_On the Action of Foods_               | 1859
    Smith, J.           |_The Temperance Reformation_           | 1875
    Speechly, W.        |_The Culture of the Vine_              | 1790
    Strenock, J.        |_God’s Sword drawn against Drunkards_  | 1677
    Strutt, J.          |_Horda_                                | 1774
    Stubs, P.           |_The Anatomie of Abuses_               | 1583
    Stuckins            |_De Antiquorum Conviviis_              |  --
    Symonds, J. A.      |_Wine, Women, and Song_                | 1884
                        |                                       |
    Taylor, John        |_Drinke and Welcome_                   | 1637
       ”     ”          |_A Relation of the Wine Taverns_       | 1636
       ”     ”          |_Drunkenness an indirect Cause of      | 1860
                        |  Crime_                               |
    Teare, J.           |_The Principle of Total Abstinence_    | 1846
    Terrington, W.      |_Cooling Cups_                         | 1880
    Thomson, Thomas     |_Diet for a Drunkard_                  | 1612
    Thomson, Dr. S.     |_Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquor_    | 1850
    Thorpe, B.          |_Ancient Laws and Institutes_          | 1840
    Thrupp, J.          |_The Anglo-Saxon Home_                 | 1862
    Thudichum, J. L. W. |_On the Origin, Nature, &c., of Wine_  | 1872
    Author.             |          Title of Work.               | Date.
                        |                                       |
    Timbs, John         |_Clubs and Club Life_                  | 1872
    Tomline             |_Monastic and Social Life_             |  --
    Tovey, C.           |_Wit ... distilled from Bacchus_       | 1878
       ”                |_British and Foreign Spirits_          | 1864
    Trotter, Dr. T.     |_Essay on Drunkenness_                 | 1804
    Tryon, Dr. T.       |_The Way to Wealth_                    | 1683
    Tuckerman, H. T.    |_The Collector_                        |  --
    Turner, Dr. W.      |_A New Boke of the Properties of Wines_| 1568
                        |                                       |
    Ullmus, J. F.       |_De Ebrietate Fugiendâ_                | 1589
                        |                                       |
    Venner              |_Via Recta ad Vitam Longam_            | 1628
    Vizetelly, H.       |_History of Champagne_                 | 1882
                        |                                       |
    Ward, Samuel        |_Woe to Drunkards_                     | 1622
    Ward and Clark      |_Warning Piece_                        | 1682
    Ward, Ned           |_The Complete Vintner_                 | 1721
     ”     ”            |_Bacchanalia_                          | 1698
    Ward, George        |_The Opinions of Medical Men_          | 1868
    Warner, R.          |_Antiquitates Culinariæ_               | 1791
    Weston, Agnes       |_Temperance Work in the Navy_          | 1879
    Whistlecraft, W.    |_The Monks and the Giants_             | 1818
    Whitaker, T.        |_The Blood of the Grape_               | 1638
    White, G.           |_Hints, Moral and Medical_             | 1840
    Whitewell, E.       |_Evidence on Sunday-Closing_           | 1880
    Wightman, Mrs.      |_Arrest the Destroyer’s March_         | 1877
    Whyte, J.           |_The Alcoholic Controversy_            | 1880
    Wilson, Dr. C.      |_The Pathology of Drunkenness_         | 1855
    Wilson, C. H.       |_The Myrtle and Vine_                  | 1800
    Winskill, P. T.     |_History of the Temperance Reformation_| 1881
    Winslow, F.         |_The Death March of Drinkdom_          | 1881
    Woodward, J.        |_A Dissuasive from Drunkenness_        | 1798
    Worlidge, J.        |_Vinetum Britannicum_                  | 1676
    Worth, W. P.        |_Cerevisiarii Comes_                   | 1692
    Wright, J.          |_Country Conversations of Drinking,    | 1694
                        |  &c._                                 |
    Wright, T.          |_Homes of other Days_                  | 1871
    Whittaker, Thomas   |_Life’s Battle in Temperance Armour_   | 1884
    Youmans, E.         |_The Basis of Prohibition_             | 1846
    Young, F.           |_The Epicure_                          | 1815
    Young, T.           |_England’s Bane_                       | 1617
    Yonge, R.           |_Blemish of Government_                | 1655




Little is known of the manners and customs of our island inhabitants
before the Saxon period; hence, there can be no wonder that all is
obscure before the Roman invasion. For the hints that have come to
light we are indebted to such foreign historians as wrote in the
century before the Christian era, the century of the invasion, and the
age immediately subsequent.

These hints, utterly meagre, but generally consistent, are supplied by
such writers before Christ as Diodorus and Cæsar, and such historians
of the first century as Strabo, Dioscorides, and Pliny.

Diodorus (lib. v.) notes the simplicity in the manners of the British,
and their being satisfied with a frugal sustenance, and avoiding the
luxuries of wealth. He further observes:--‘Their diet was simple; their
food consisted chiefly of milk and venison. Their ordinary drink was
water. Upon extraordinary occasions they drank a kind of fermented
liquor made of barley, honey, or apples, and when intoxicated never
failed to quarrel, like the ancient Thracians.’

Cæsar (_De Bell. Gall._ v.) observes that the inhabitants of the
interior do not sow grain, but live on milk and flesh.

Strabo, whose description of Britain in his fourth book is barren,
and not apparently independent (for he seems mainly to follow Cæsar),
writes in the early part of the first century (probably about A.D. 18),
that the Britons had some slight notion of planting orchards.

Dioscorides, in the middle of the same century, affirms that the
Britons instead of wine use _curmi_, a liquor made of barley. Pliny
the Elder speaks of the drinks in vogue in his time of the beer
genus, variously called _zythum_, _celia_, _cerea_, _Cereris vinum_,
_curmi_, _cerevisia_. These, he says (lib. xiv.), were known to the
nations inhabiting the _west of Europe_. He exclaims against the
wide-spread intemperance: ‘The whole world is addicted to drunkenness;
the perverted ingenuity of man has given even to water the power of
intoxicating where wine is not procurable. Western nations intoxicate
themselves by means of moistened grain.’

It is important to add that Tacitus asserts (_Vit. Agricol._) that the
soil of this country abundantly produces all fruits except the olive,
the grape, and some others which are indigenous to a warm climate.

Putting together these scattered allusions we gather,--(1) that _wine_
was unknown to the Britons before the Roman conquest. It is absurd to
suppose that a people as simple as the Britons, and holding so little
intercourse with other nations, should as yet obtain from abroad such
an article of luxury as wine, or prepare it from a fruit not a native
of the soil. Indeed, it was only about a century before the Roman
invasion of England that vines were cultivated to any extent in the
Roman empire; so scarce had wines been previously that the libations to
the gods were directed to be made with milk.

(2) That the inhabitants of the interior used no intoxicant, unless
possibly _metheglin_. The language of Cæsar implies this. Above the
borders of the southern coast, which were inhabited by Belgæ, and by
them cultivated, there were few traces of civilisation. The midlanders
were unacquainted with agriculture, contenting themselves with pasture;
whilst the northerners depended on the produce of the chase, or upon
that which grew spontaneously. And everywhere it is the same. The
earliest savage inhabitants of any district eat without dressing what
the earth produces without cultivation, and drink water (_dwr_, ὕδωρ).
Savage nature is simple and uniform, whereas art and refinement are
infinitely various.

(3) That the southerners made some kind of intoxicant from grain, from
honey, and from apples.

Before the introduction of agriculture, _metheglin_ was the only strong
drink known to our inhabitants, and it was a favourite beverage with
them long after they had become acquainted with other drinks. The
rearing of bees became an important branch of industry; and we shall
find later on, that in the courts of the ancient princes of Wales the
mead-maker held an important position in point of dignity.

Metheglin (Welsh _Meddyglyn_), also called _hydromel_ and _mead_, was
a drink as universal as it was ancient. Testimony is afforded to this
by the Sanscrit _mathu_, Greek μέθυ and μέλι, Latin _mel_, Saxon
_medo_ and _medu_, Danish _miod_, German _meth_. And here one must
regret to demur to the suggested derivation of Metheglin from Matthew
Glinn, who possessed a large stock of bees that he wished to turn into
gain. The modes of the manufacture of this drink vary much in different
countries. In the times to which we refer, the principal ingredients
were rain-water and honey. Somewhat later it is described as wine and
honey sodden together.

After the introduction of agriculture, _ale_ (called by the Britons
_kwrw_ or _cwrw_) became a common drink. An early writer thus describes
its manufacture: ‘The grain is steeped in water and made to germinate;
it is then dried and ground; after which it is infused in a certain
quantity of water, which being fermented becomes a pleasant, warming,
strengthening, and intoxicating liquor.’

_Cider_ became known to the Britons at an early date. John Beale, a
seventeenth-century authority on orchard produce, thought _seider_ to
be a genuine British word; but it is generally referred to the Greek
σίκερα, which, curiously enough, is rendered in Wycliffe’s version of
the Bible, _sydyr_:--‘For he schal be gret before the Lord; and he
schal not drinke wyn ne sydyr.’[1] Macpherson, in his _Annals_, rightly
says that cider extracted from wild apples was early known to the
British in common with other Northern nations, whilst Whitaker
(_History of Manchester_) thinks that this beverage was introduced
by the Romans. The opinion entertained by some that it was a Norman
invention is entirely a mistake. The principal cider districts of
the present day are Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire,
Monmouth, Somerset, and Devon. Its medicinal qualities are variously
stated. Lord Bacon accounted it to promote long life. Sir George
Baker considered it a cure for dropsy. On the other hand, Dr. Epps
(_Journal of Health and Disease_) speaks of dropsy and insanity as
common diseases in Herefordshire, and says it is easy to understand how
diseased kidneys are produced by the acid in the cider, and how dropsy
follows from these diseased kidneys.

We next inquire what kind of _Inns_ were known to the Ancient Britons.
During the time of the Druids there was an order of people called
_Beatachs_, _Brughnibhs_, or keepers of open houses, established for
the express purpose of hospitality. These were pretty much of the same
character as the chaoultries in India, and the caravanseries in the
East. In Ireland, the _bruigh_ was a person provided with land and
stock by the prince of the territory, to keep beds, stabling, and such
amusements as backgammon boards. The character of these houses was,
as we shall find, vastly altered in Saxon times, when their names,
_Eala-hus_, _Win-hus_, &c., sufficiently betokened the rationale of
their existence.

We have seen that wine was unknown in this country before the Roman
occupation. But the tide of emigration soon set in from Rome to
Britain. The new-comers brought with them the arts and manufactures of
their own country. The importation of wines presented to our islanders
a new species of luxury. Evidently contrasting the simple habits of
her subjects with those of the Roman invaders, Queen Boadicea (A.D.
61), making ready for battle, appeals in an impassioned speech to the
heart of her troops, in which she exclaims: ‘To us, every herb and
root are food, every juice is our oil, and water is our wine.’ For
well-nigh three centuries of Roman occupation, wine continued to be
an import. It remained for a Roman emperor to give permission to the
Britons to cultivate vines and to make wine. The circumstances were
these: The Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81), in order to check the growth
of intemperance, issued an edict for the destruction of half the
vineyards, and prohibited any more planting of vines without licence
from the emperors. Probus acceded to the imperial purple, A.D. 276.
This emperor, having conquered Gaul, revoked the edict of Domitian,
and allowed the provinces to plant vines and make wine. Britain was
included in the licence. From that time the purple grape twined around
many a British homestead. But whether it ever really thrived in our
soil and climate is more than conjectural. Pliny throws doubt upon the
whole subject.[2] Camden regards the boon as affording shade rather
than produce.[3] Still there is a chain of evidence that for centuries
vineyards were planted in various districts, which would not have
been the case had they been a complete failure. Five centuries after
the edict of Probus, Bede testifies to their existence;[4] whilst
Holinshed, in the sixteenth century, writes:--‘that wine did grow here,
the old notes of tithes for wine that yet remain, besides the records
of sundry sutes commenced in diverse ecclesiastical courts; ... also
the enclosed parcels almost in every abbeie yet called vineyards, may
be a notable witnesse. The Isle of Elie also was in the first times of
the Normans called _le ile des vignes_.’[5] Nor can we wonder at the
efforts to establish the grape as a native production when we consider
the almost universal attachment to the fruit in one or other of its
forms. If mead was in general demand, still more so was wine. The
common appetite found fitting expression in a common nomenclature, and
we find the names given to wine in every country bearing a striking
similarity. Compare the English _wine_ with the Gaelic _fion_, the
French _vin_, Italian _vino_, Welsh _gwin_, Danish _viin_, German
_wein_, Latin _vinum_, Greek οἶνος, Hebrew _yayin_, the root term
conveying the notion, according to some, of _boiling up_, _ferment_,
whilst others refer it to the Hebrew verb signifying _to press out_.

Whether an advantage or otherwise, to the Romans undoubtedly we owe
_signboards_. The _bush_, which was for ages with us the sign of an
inn, we owe immediately to them. Our proverb, ‘Good wine needs no
bush,’ is of course own child to the Latin ‘_Vino vendibili suspensa
hedera non opus est_’--‘Wine that will sell needs no advertisement.’
Our sign of ‘Two Jolly Brewers’ carrying a tun slung on a long pole
is the counterpart of a relic from Pompeii representing two slaves
carrying an amphora.[6]

Again, our country owes to Roman influence the national custom of
toasting or health-drinking.

The present writer has observed elsewhere[7] that among the Romans
luxury was carried to unbounded excess. Many were their forms of
revelry; amongst these were _comissationes_, or drinking bouts pure
and simple. At these no food was taken, save as a relish to the wine.
Specimens of their toasting formalities will be found in several
classical authors.[8]

It were idle to imagine that the Britons were uninfluenced by such
marked features of social life. If these customs had not been adopted
by them before the time of Agricola, it is certain that when that most
diplomatic of governors held sway here, he would teach the _jeunesse
dorée_ to drink healths to the emperor, and to toast the British belles
of the hour in brimming bumpers. Sensual banquets, with their attendant
revelry, no less than spacious baths and elegant villas, speedily
became as palatable to the new subjects as to their corrupt masters.[9]

Intemperance was no stranger to any rank of society. Not even the
imperial purple was stainless.[10] Thus was the soil prepared for the
seed so abundantly to be sown when the Saxon, the Roman’s successor,
should incorporate himself with our British population.


[1] σίκερα is of course akin to the Hebrew shâkar שֵׁכָר, and it is at
least curious that the three important potables may be referred to
Hebrew origin: _Wine_, to the Greek οἶνος, Hebrew יַיִן _Yayin_, and
_Beer_ possibly to the Hebrew בר _corn_ without the vowel point.

[2] _Natural History_, iv. 17.

[3] _Britannia_, London, 1590. ‘Quas in Britannia ex Probi Imperatoris
tempore umbraculi magis quam fructus gratiâ habuimus.’

[4] ‘Vineas etiam quibusdam in locis germinant.’

[5] _Chronicles_, i. 186.

[6] A mass of information upon the subject of signboards has been
collected by Messrs. Larwood and Hotten in their _History of

[7] _History of Toasting_; London, 1881.

[8] _E.g._--‘Te nominatim voco in bibendo.’
            ‘Bene te! Bene tibi!’
            ‘Salutem tibi propino.’
            ‘Bacchi tibi sumimus haustus.’

Compare also Tibul. II. i. 33: ‘Bene Messalam! sua quisque ad pocula

Plautus. _Curcul._ ii. 3, 8: ‘Propino poculum magnum, ille ebibit.’

Cicero. _Tuscul. Disput._ i. 40: ‘Propino hoc pulcro Critiæ, qui in eum
fuerat teterrimus; Græci enim in conviviis solent nominare cui poculum
tradituri sint.’

Zumpt interprets ‘Græco more’ as ‘Mos propinandi,’ or the custom of
addressing the person to whom you wish well, and offering him a glass
to empty, after having first put it to your lips.--Cf. Martial, lib. i.
Ep. 72, Horace iii. Ode 19.

[9] The moral depravity and social degradation of the Roman world at
this time is forcibly described by Salvian, the Bishop of Marseilles,
in his _De Gubernatione Dei_. This treatise was translated into
English, London, 1700.

[10] It is recorded of the Emperor Bonosus that so notorious a drinker
was he that when he committed suicide, A.D. 281, after his defeat in
Banffshire, it was the common jest with the soldiers that there hung a
tankard and not a man.



It is to the heroic songs of the day that we must at this period
mainly look for the history of manners and of convivial life. The
chieftains assembled on the mead-bench, and were diverted by the
literary genius of the ‘scóp’ or poet. Whether in the capacity of
household retainer or wandering minstrel, he commanded protection,
respect, and admiration. He was the popular exponent of the fashion of
the time, and from his productions we can form a tolerable estimate
of the prodigious part which drink played in the social life of the
Anglo-Saxon. In this respect it is not too much to say that we inherit
from the Saxons a perfect legacy of corruption; it is therefore with
considerable qualification that we can accept the eulogies passed upon
our forefathers by some historians, and notably by Sharon Turner,
who represents our Saxon ancestors as bringing with them a superior
domestic and moral character, as well as new political, juridical, and
intellectual blessings.

One record we have of the manners of the Saxons before they occupied
Britain; from it we are able to gather what were their essentially
individual usages, and thus are able to draw a definite line between
their native customs and those derived after their settlement amongst
us from the Romanised Britons.

This poem is the romance of _Beowulf_, the oldest specimen of
Anglo-Saxon literature--indeed, the oldest epic in any modern
language.[11] The scene is laid in the Cimbric Chersonese. A certain
king, Hrothgar by name, determined to build a palace, ‘a great
mead-hall.’ In the neighbourhood lived a giant monster who used to
make nightly incursions upon the palace during the ale-carouse; on
one occasion killing thirty of its inmates. Beowulf, the brother of
Hrothgar, resolved to deliver them from this scourge. With fifteen of
his followers he proceeded to his brother’s palace. Hrothgar and his
retainers were found drinking their ale and mead. The poem describes
the visit:--‘There was a bench cleared in the beer-hall.... The thane
observed his office. He that in his hand bare the twisted ale-cup, he
poured the bright, sweet liquor.’ Meanwhile the bard strikes up; the
queen enters the hall; she serves the liquor, first presenting the cup
to the king, then to the guests. Thus do the festivities continue till
nightfall. Beowulf and his company sleep in the hall, ‘the wine-hall,
the treasure house of men, studded with vessels.’ The giant appeared
in the night, and after a struggle was slain by Beowulf. The next
day there were great rejoicings at the death of the monster. ‘The
lay was sung, the song of the gleeman, the noise from the benches
grew loud; cupbearers gave the wine from wondrous vessels.’ The queen
again presented the cup to the king and to Beowulf; the festivities
were prolonged into the night. Soon, however, was vengeance on the
track; the mother of the giant appeared at the palace and carried
off a counsellor of Hrothgar, one of the ‘beer-drunken heroes of the
ale-wassail.’ Beowulf is again the deliverer, and subsequently ascends
the throne of his brother. A sketch of early manners like this, in
the general dearth of documentary evidence, is invaluable. It is an
outline, but one we can readily fill in.

From this same Cimbric peninsula came the Saxon leader Hengist, whose
feast in honour of the British king Vortigern is familiar to every
one, though it rests mainly on the very questionable authority of
Nennius.[12] This writer states that the Saxon chief prepared an
entertainment to which he invited the king, his officers, &c., having
previously enjoined his daughter to serve them so profusely with wine
and ale that they might soon become intoxicated. The plan succeeded;
Vortigern demanded the hand of the girl. The province of Kent was
the price paid. This account, as given by Nennius, is supplemented
by Geoffrey of Monmouth, a British historian, or rather romancer, of
the twelfth century. The story is always worth repeating. He says[13]
that when the feast was over, ‘the young lady came out of her chamber
bearing a golden cup full of wine, with which she approached the king,
and making a low courtesy, said to him: “Lauerd king wacht heil!” The
king, at the sight of the lady’s face, was on a sudden both surprised
and inflamed with her beauty; and calling to his interpreter, asked
him what she said, and what answer he should make her. “She called you
‘Lord King,’” said the interpreter, “and offered to drink your health.
Your answer to her must be, ‘Drinc heil!’” Vortigern accordingly
answered, “Drinc heil!” and bade her drink; after which he took the cup
from her hand, kissed her, and drank himself. From that time to this
(says the chronicler) it has been the custom in Britain that he who
drinks to any one says, “Wacht heil!” and he who pledges him answers,
“Drinc heil!” Vortigern, being now drunk with the variety of liquors,
the devil took this opportunity to enter into his heart, and to make
him in love with the damsel, so that he became suitor to her father for

We have seen that drink was a prominent link in the chain whereby Kent
passed from British into Saxon hands. If Nennius may be trusted, it
played an equally important part in the cession of East-Sex, South-Sex,
and Middle-Sex. The substance of the story as told by this chronicler
is, that Hengist proposed to ratify a treaty of peace with the British
king Vortigern, by a feast to which he invited him and his nobles. He
bade his Saxons who feasted with them, at a given signal, when the
Britons were sufficiently inebriated, each to draw his knife and kill
his man. The plot succeeded. Three hundred British nobles were slain in
a state of intoxication, while the captive king purchased his ransom
at the cost of the three above-mentioned provinces. The Welsh bard
evidently alludes to this in the lines:--

    When they bargained for Thanet, with such scanty discretion,
    With Hors and Hengys in their violent career,
    Their aggrandisement was to us disgraceful,
    After the consuming secret with the slaves at the confluent stream.
    Conceive the intoxication at the great banquet of mead;
    Conceive the deaths in the great hour of necessity.[15]

We can judge from the above incidents the kind of influence which
the Saxons would be likely to exercise upon the Romanised Briton.
Not that intemperance was a new plant of Saxon setting, for we have
already found that the seed sown of Roman debauchery was beginning
to yield the rank crop of excess in every grade of society. Ancient
British poetry affords ample proof of this indictment. One of the most
important fragments of ancient Cymric literature is _The Gododin_
of Aneurin, a poem of the sixth century, the first poem printed in
the Welsh Archæology. It recounts a mighty patriotic struggle of the
Britons under Mynyddawr with the Teutonic settlers in the district,
which may be loosely described as lying between the Tees and Forth. The
ever-recurring subject in this poem is the intoxication of the Britons
from excessive drinking of mead before the battle fought at Cattraeth.
A few quotations will suffice:--

    The warriors marched to Cattraeth, full of words;
    Bright mead gave them pleasure, their bliss was their bane.
           *       *       *       *       *
    The warriors marched to Cattraeth, full of mead;
    Drunken, but firm in array; great the shame.
           *       *       *       *       *
                                Just fate we deplore.
    For the sweetness of mead,
    In the day of our need,
    Is our bitterness; blunts all our arms for the strife;
    Is a friend to the lip and a foe to the life.
           *       *       *       *       *
    I drank the Mordei’s wine and mead,
    I drank, and now for that I bleed.[16]

Unquestionable allusion to this poem of Aneurin is made in Owen
Cyveilioc’s _Hîrlas_, written in the twelfth century:--

    Hear how with their portion of mead, went with their Lord to Cattraeth,
    Faithful the purpose of their sharp weapons,
    The host of Mynydauc, to their fatal rest.

To the sixth century are also to be referred the poems of Taliesin,
which tell of the battles between the Britons and Saxons. One is
preserved which is commonly called the _Mead Song_, which he wrote to
obtain Elphin’s release from prison. It is thus rendered[17]:--

    I will implore the Sovereign, Supreme in every region,
    The Being who supports the heavens, Lord of all space,
    The Being who made the waters, to every body good;
    The Being who sends every gift and prospers it,
    That Maelgwyn of Mona be inspired with mead, and cheer us with it
    From the mead horns--the foaming pure and shining liquor
    Which the bees provide, but do not enjoy.
    Mead distilled I praise--its eulogy is everywhere,
    Precious to the creature whom the earth maintains.
    God made it for man for his happiness;
    The fierce and the mute, both enjoy it.
    The Lord made both the wild and the gentle,
    And has given them clothing for ornament,
    And food and drink to last till judgment.

    I will implore the Sovereign, Supreme in the land of peace,
    To liberate Elphin from banishment,
    The man that gave me wine, ale, and mead,
    And the great princely steeds of gay appearance,
    And to me yet would give as usual:
    With the will of God, he would bestow from respect
    Innumerable festivities in the course of peace.
    Knight of Mead, relation of Elphin, distant be thy period of

A satire is also preserved of the same Taliesin, upon the wandering
minstrels of his time. He imputes to them all kinds of vice:--

    In the night they carouse, in the day they sleep;
    Idle, they get food without labour;
    They hate the churches, but seek the liquor houses;
    From every gluttony they refrain not;
    Excesses of eating and drinking is what they desire.[19]

Another early British poet, Llywarch Hên, who flourished in both the
sixth and seventh centuries, affords further proof that strong drink,
ale or mead, was the one thing needful. In his elegy on Urien of Reged
we find--

    He was a shield to his country;
    His course was a wheel in battle.
    Better to me would be his life than his mead.

And again--

    This hearth; no shout of heroes now adheres to it:
    More usual on its floor
    Was the mead; and the inebriated warriors.

And here we naturally pause to inquire whether it is fair to gauge
the habits of the day from extracts such as these. May they not have
been the heated effusions of the moment? May not these bards have cast
the shadows of their own excited brains on all around? Alas! the pages
of contemporary history, and the censures of the Church, too surely
confirm the impressions of the poet. Thus, Gildas, the British monk,
writing in the latter half of the sixth century (_Epist. De Excid.
Britann._), laments (§ 21) that ‘not only the laity, but our Lord’s
own flock, and its shepherds, who ought to have been an example to the
people, slumbered away their time in drunkenness, as if they had been
dipped in wine.’ Again (§ 83), ‘Little do ye put in execution that
which the holy prophet Joel hath spoken in admonishment of slothful
priests, saying, Awake ye who are drunk from your wine, and weep and
bewail ye all, who have drunk wine even to drunkenness, because joy
and delight are taken away from your mouths.’ And once more (§ 109),
‘These are the words, that with apparent effect should be made good and
approved--deacons in like manner, that they should be not overgiven to
much wine.... And now, trembling truly to make any longer stay on these
matters, I can, for a conclusion, affirm one thing certainly, which is,
that all these are changed into contrary actions, insomuch that clerks
are shameless and deceitful in their speeches, given to drinking.’

Do we wonder that this state of things was condemned? The British
Church could no longer keep silent. Decrees respecting intemperance
were issued in the Synod held by St. David (A.D. 569), interesting as
the only legislative relic of the British Church upon this subject;
unless, as Mr. Bridgett remarks in his useful little book, _The
Discipline of Drink_, we admit the monastic penance of St. Gildas the
Wise (A.D. 570): ‘If any monk through drinking too freely gets thick of
speech so that he cannot join in the psalmody, he is to be deprived of
his supper.’

The following are among the canons of St. David:--

    (1) Priests about to minister in the temple of God and drinking
    wine or strong drink through negligence, and not ignorance, must
    do penance three days. If they have been warned, and despise, then
    forty days.

    (2) Those who get drunk through ignorance must do penance fifteen
    days; if through negligence, forty days; if through contempt, three

    (3) He who forces another to get drunk out of hospitality must do
    penance as if he had got drunk himself.

    (4) But he who out of hatred or wickedness, in order to disgrace
    or mock at others, forces them to get drunk, if he has not already
    sufficiently done penance, must do penance as a murderer of souls.

Enough has been adduced to prove that the lovers of debauch among the
Anglo-Saxons could have found no uncongenial soil in Britain. But
their settlement in our island did not tend to any moral millennium.
They found matters bad; they made them ten times worse. At meals,
after meals, by day, by night, the brimming tankard foamed. When all
were satisfied with their dinner, says the chronicler, they continued
drinking till the evening. Drinking was, in short, the occupation
of the after part of the day. A cut taken from the Anglo-Saxon
calendar[20] represents a drinking party. The lord and the two
principal guests are sitting at the high seat, or daïs, drinking after
dinner. The excess to which they yielded at banquets may be illustrated
from a fragment of an Anglo-Saxon poem, entitled ‘Judith,’ which is
thus translated[21]:--

    There were deep bowls
    Carried along the benches often,
    So likewise cups and pitchers
    Full to the people who were sitting on couches:
    The renowned shielded warriors
    Were fated, while they partook thereof....
    Then was Holofernes,
    The munificent patron of men,
    In the guest hall;
    He laughed and rioted,
    Made tumult and noise,
    That the children of men
    Might hear afar,
    How the stern one
    Stormed and shouted.
    Moody and drunk with mead,
    Thus this wicked man
    During the whole day
    His followers
    Drenched with wine,
    The haughty dispenser of treasure,
    Until they lay down intoxicated,
    He over-drenched all his followers
    Like as though they were struck with death,
    Exhausted of every good.

An important collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry is still preserved under
the title of the _Exeter Book_, the original MS. of which is kept at
Exeter: being a portion of the gift of books to the Church at Exeter
by Bishop Leofric in the eleventh century. It is a medley of legends,
religious songs, apophthegms, riddles, &c. These riddles, commonly
called _Symposii Ænigmata_, were very popular among the Saxons,
whether the meaning of the title be ‘Riddles composed by Symposius,’ or
‘Nuts to crack after dinner.’ Two specimens will suffice. The first,
probably taken from the story of Lot--

    There sat a man at his wine
    With his two wives,
    And his two sons,
    And his two daughters,
    Own sisters,
    And their two sons,
    Comely first-born children;
    The father was there
    Of each one
    Of the noble ones,
    With the uncle and the nephew:
    There were five in all
    Men and women
    Sitting there.

The second is a very ancient specimen of that kind of ballad of which
the modern _John Barleycorn_ is the anti-type:--

    A part of the earth is
    Prepared beautifully,
    With the hardest,
    And with the sharpest,
    And with the grimmest
    Of the productions of men,
    Cut and ...
    Turned and dried,
    Bound and twisted,
    Bleached and awakened,
    Ornamented and poured out,
    Carried afar
    To the doors of people,
    It is joy in the inside
    Of living creatures,
    It knocks and slights
    Those, of whom before while alive
    A long while
    It obeys the will,
    And expostulateth not,
    And then after death
    It takes upon it to judge,
    To talk variously.
    It is greatly to seek
    By the wisest man,
    What this creature is.[22]

The principal drinks which the Saxons adopted were wine, mead, ale,
cider, and piment.

The permission granted by the Emperor Probus to plant vines has already
been mentioned, as well as the testimony to their existence by the
historian Bede. John Bagford, a book collector and antiquary of the
seventeenth century, says:--

    I have often thought, and am now fully persuaded, that the planting
    of vines in the adjacent parts about this city was first of all
    begun by the Romans, an industrious people, and famous for their
    skill in agriculture and gardening, as may appear from their _rei
    agrariæ scriptores_, as well as from Pliny and other authors.
    We had a vineyard in East Smithfield, another in Hatton Garden
    (which at this time is called Vine Street), and a third in St.
    Giles-in-the-Fields. Many places in the country bear the name of
    the _Vineyard_ to this day, especially in the ancient monasteries,
    as Canterbury, Ely, Abingdon, &c., which were left as such by the

But whatever amount of evidence be forthcoming that vineyards existed
in the time of the Saxons, though there is no doubt that they were in
the main attached to the monasteries, still it is certain that wine was
not a common drink among them; but when introduced into their feasts
it usually led to intemperance. It may also be added that Bede mentions
_warm wine_ as a drink. But their most common beverage was _mead_.
The extent to which this drink prevailed amongst them is curiously
indicated by the nature of the _fine_ that was imposed upon the members
of their friendly societies whose conduct was called in question. It
appears that for seven out of thirteen descriptions of offence, the
members were fined a quantity of honey, varying in measure with the
nature of the offence, _e.g._--

Any member calling another names was fined a _quart of honey_.

For using abusive language to a non-member, _one quart of honey_.

A knight for waylaying a man, a _sextarius of honey_.

For setting a trap for any person’s injury, _a sextarius of honey_.

Any member neglecting when deputed to fetch a fellow-member who
might have fallen sick, or died at a distance from home, forfeited a
_sextarius of honey_. And so forth. No doubt this honey was turned into
mead, and drunk on the gala days of the society.

Of _ale_ three kinds are mentioned at this time: viz. clear ale, mild
ale, and Welsh ale. Accordingly we find the Abbot of Medeshamstede
letting certain land to Wulfrid upon this condition, that Wulfrid
should each year deliver into the minster, among other items, two tuns
full of pure ale and ten measures of Welsh ale, an agreement at which,
adds the Saxon Chronicle, the king, archbishop, and several bishops
were present. _Welsh ale_ is mentioned at a much earlier date in the
laws of Ine.

It was stated in a former section that _cider_ became known to the
Britons at an early date. The Anglo-Saxons knew it under the name of
_Æppelwin_. Its origin is not fully substantiated. Africa has been
suggested as its birthplace, probably because the fathers SS. Augustine
and Tertullian mention it. St. Jerome, too, speaks of an intoxicating
drink made of the juice of apples.

Lastly, the Saxons drank _piment_, but not generally. This was a
mixture of acid wine, honey, sugar, and spices. We find it mentioned in
the romance of _Arthour and Merlin_, in the lines--

    There was piment and claré,
    To heighe lordlinges and to meyne.

Piment and wine were both at this time imports. Thus in a volume of
Saxon dialogues (_Tib. A._ iii.), one of the characters, a merchant,
describes himself and his occupation. To the question ‘What do you
bring us?’ he replies, ‘Skins, silks, costly gems, and gold; various
garments, pigment, wine, &c.’

Of Saxon festivals none were more celebrated than their _Jule_ or
_Yule_ (to which corresponds our Christmas), a strange combination of
conviviality and religion. It appears to be a Saxon adaptation of an
ancient Celtic festival. The Celts worshipped the sun. At the winter
solstice the people testified their joy that the ‘greater light’ had
returned to this part of the heavens, by celebrating a festival or
sun-feast, which took its name from _Heol_, _Hiaul_, _Houl_, dialectic
varieties of the Celtic expression for ‘sun.’ The prefix of the
article will account for the Gothic forms _Gehul_, _Juul_, and hence
again the softened forms, _Jul_, _Yule_. Upon this heathen festival
the Christians engrafted their great festival, the anniversary of the
rising of the Sun of Righteousness upon a dark world.[24]

Before leaving this subject notice should be taken of the _grafol_,
or rent, paid upon lands. It furnishes some incidental details of the
social life of our ancestors. Upon a certain estate in Lincolnshire
we find that the following yearly rent was reserved:--(1) To the
monastery, two tuns of bright ale, two oxen fit for slaughter, two
_mittan_, or measures, of Welsh ale,[25] and six hundred loaves. (2) To
the abbot’s private estate, one horse, thirty shillings of silver, or
half a pound, one night’s pastus, fifteen mittan of bright and five of
Welsh ale, fifteen sesters of mild ale.

Anglo-Saxon guilds, or social confederations, were associated with
drink. Every member was compelled to bring a certain amount of malt
or honey. The fines they imposed also imply that the materials of
conviviality were not forgotten.

Amidst such surroundings it is scarcely matter for surprise that we
occasionally read of profuseness in the high places of the Church
as well as the State. Some of the leading ecclesiastics had been
brought up in the lap of plenty. Wilfrid (consecrated Archbishop of
York, A.D. 669) is described by his biographer, Eddius, as the most
luxurious prelate of his age, but it should be remembered that he was
the son of a Bernician noble, taught in his childhood to serve the
cup in the mead-hall. His fame, however, for sanctity is abundantly
attested. He has been called the first patron of architecture among the
Anglo-Saxons. Hexham and Ripon owe to him their sacred piles. At the
dedication of the latter was a disgraceful scene of riotous festivity
in which the kings Ecgfrid and Aelwin with the principal nobles were
engaged. Such a scene upon such an occasion would now happily be
impossible. And it is by comparisons of this kind that one is able
definitely to estimate the improvement or retrogression of moral tone.
It should be added by way of extenuation that such festivities were
continuations of the heathen paganalia, were countenanced--indeed, with
certain modifications commanded--by order of Gregory the Great (A.D.
601), to Mellitus, the abbot, who accompanied Augustine to England.
His words, as given by Bede (_Eccl. Hist._ i. 30), are--‘On the day of
dedication, or the birthday of holy martyrs, whose relics are there
deposited, let the people build themselves booths of the boughs of
trees, round about those churches which have been turned to that use
from temples, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting....
For there is no doubt that it is impossible to efface every thing at
once from their obdurate minds.’


[11] A translation of this poem by John Mitchell Kemble was published
in 1837; one by Thomas Arnold in 1876; another more recently by Colonel
Lumsden; another by Rev. S. Fox, 1864.

[12] A chapter is devoted to the question of the genuineness and
chronology of Nennius in Wright’s _Biographia Britannica Literaria_.

[13] Geoffrey of Monmouth: _British History_, chap. xii.

[14] For Robert de Brunne’s metrical version of this story, cf. Warton,
_Hist. Poet._, i. 73. For Robert of Gloucester’s account, see Knight,
_Old Eng._, p. 70.

[15] Golyddan: _Arymes Prydein Vawr_, 2 (as rendered by Turner).

[16] Professor Morley’s rendering is here adopted. Part of the
_Gododin_ was translated by Gray. A version of the whole is to be found
in Davies’s _Mythology of the Druids_. It was translated by Probert
in 1820, and by Rev. John Williams ap Ithel in 1858. It should be
mentioned that Davies strangely maintains that the poem does not refer
to the battle of Cattraeth, but to the massacre of the Welsh chieftains
by Hengist’s command at a banquet at Stonehenge.

[17] Turner, _Vindication of the Ancient British Poems_.

[18] The poems of Taliesin are printed in the _Myvyrian Archaiology of
Wales_, collected out of ancient MSS.

[19] An incident in his life also illustrates the intemperance of the
time. Fishing at sea in a skin coracle, he was seized by Irish pirates,
who carried him off towards Ireland. Escaping from them in his coracle
while they were engaged in drunken revelry, he was tossed about at the
mercy of the waves till the coracle stuck to the point of a pole in the
weir of the Prince of Cardigan, at whose court he remained till the
time of the great inundation which formed Cardigan Bay.

[20] MS. Cotton, Julius A. vi. inserted in Wright’s _Homes of other

[21] The original is given in Thorp’s _Analecta Anglo-Saxonica_,
London, 1834.

[22] Exeter MS. fol. 107, vo.

[23] Prefixed to _Collectanea_, 1770, p. 75.

[24] See _Christmas Festivities_, by the present writer.

[25] Warner mentions this drink as in his days a speciality (1797).
He says: ‘We now reached the Beaufort Arms (Crickhowel), where we
refreshed ourselves with a bottle of _cwrrw_ or Welsh ale.... I cannot
say that it proved agreeable to our palates, though the Cambrians seek
it with avidity, and quaff it with the most patient perseverance.
Their ancestors, you know, displayed a similar propensity eighteen
hundred years ago, and the old Celt frequently sunk under the powerful
influence of the ancient _cwrrw_. It was then, as now, made from
barley, but the grain was dried in a peculiar way which gives it a
smoky taste, and renders it glutinous, heady, and soporiferous.’ Cf.
Pliny, lib. xiv.: ‘Est et occidentis populis sua ebrietas, fruge
madida’; and Strabo, lib. iv.: ‘Ligures utuntur potu hordeaceo.’


SAXON PERIOD--_continued._

Amongst the kings who, in the seventh century, governed parts of
Anglia, Edwin stands out prominently as a beacon of beneficent
rule. Two stories concerning him are treasured from childhood, viz.
his conversion to Christianity, through the bringing back to his
recollection a mysterious vision by Paulinus, and the speech of
the royal counsellor, who compared human life to the flitting of a
sparrow through a festal hall. But one of his philanthropic measures
is of special interest in the present connection. Edwin had been by
compulsion a wanderer. He knew the trials of a fugitive’s life. He
had experienced the hardships of long journeys on tedious roads which
lacked accommodation for travellers; so, with a heart full of sympathy,
he caused to be set up in the highways stakes, and ladles chained to
them, wherever he had observed a pure spring. Bede remarks that he
carried a tufa before him; he deserves that it be never displaced.

The entertaining of strangers seems in these times to have fallen
to the clergy: hence the constant injunction to them to attend to
hospitality. It is in this sense that Mr. Soames is justified in saying
(_Anglo-Saxon Church_) that clergymen were in fact the innkeepers of
those ancient times. One of the Excerpts of Ecgbright enjoins ‘that
bishops and priests have an house for the entertainment of strangers,
not far from the church.’

It would be naturally expected that the Church should have made some
effort to stem the wide-spread inebriety of the Saxon population. And
such was the case. We have on record an almost continuous series of
ecclesiastical canons, decrees, and anathemas bearing upon the national
intemperance. Theodore, seventh Archbishop of Canterbury (668-693),
decrees that if a Christian layman drink to excess, he must do a
fifteen days’ penance. In the following century, Bede, in a letter to
Egbert, Archbishop of York, writes: ‘It is commonly reported of certain
bishops that the way they serve Christ is this--They have no one near
them of any religious spirit or continence, but only such as are given
to laughter, jokes, amusing stories, feasting, drunkenness, and the
other snares of a sensual life--men who feed their belly with meats,
rather than their souls with the heavenly sacrifice.’

In the middle of the same century, Winfrid, Archbishop of the
Germans (upon whom the Pope conferred the name of Boniface), writes
to Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘It is reported that in your
dioceses the vice of drunkenness is too frequent; so that not only
certain bishops do not hinder it, but they themselves indulge in excess
of drink, and force others to drink till they are intoxicated. This
is most certainly a great crime for a servant of God to do or to have
done, since the ancient canons decree that a bishop or a priest given
to drink should either resign or be deposed. And Truth itself has said:
“Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your heart be overcharged
with surfeiting and drunkenness;” and St. Paul, “Be not drunk with
wine wherein is luxury;” and the Prophet Isaias, “Woe to you that are
mighty to drink wine, and men of strength at drunkenness.” This is an
evil peculiar to pagans, and to our race. Neither the Franks, nor the
Gauls, nor the Lombards, nor the Romans, nor the Greeks commit it. Let
us then repress this iniquity by decrees of synods and the prohibitions
of the Scriptures, if we are able. If we fail, at least, by avoiding
and denouncing it, let us clear our own souls from the blood of the

This great Anglo-Saxon missionary not only preached but practised. His
Benedictine monks he describes as men of strict abstinence, who used
neither flesh, wine, nor strong drink.

The Excerptions of Ecgbright date about the middle of this century.
Johnson, _English Canons_, assigns them to 740; Sir H. Spelman to 750.

Amongst these are several sayings and canons of the fathers respecting
intemperance. Thus (No. 14)--‘That none who is numbered among the
priests cherish the vice of drunkenness; nor force others to be drunk
by his importunity.’ (No. 18)--‘That no priest go to eat or drink in

In the supplemental Excerptions of the same Ecgbright (MS. marked K.2,
in the CCCC. Library), we have (No. 74) ‘A canon of the fathers. If
a bishop, or one in orders, be an habitual drunkard, let him either
desist or be deposed.’

In the same Excerpts, penal intoxication is defined--‘This is
drunkenness, when the state of the mind is changed, the tongue
stammers, the eyes are disturbed, the head is giddy, the belly is
swelled, and pain follows.’

In 747 a council was convened by Cuthbert at Cloves-hoo. The 9th canon
bids priests ‘by all means take care, as becomes the ministers of
God, that they do not give to the seculars or monastics an example of
ridiculous or wicked conversation; that is, by drunkenness, love of
filthy lucre, obscene talking, and the like.’

The 21st canon ordains ‘that monastics and ecclesiastics do not
follow nor affect the vice of drunkenness, but avoid it as deadly
poison.... Nor let them force others to drink intemperately, but let
their entertainments be cleanly and sober, not luxuries, ... and that,
unless some necessary infirmity compel them, they do not, like common
tipplers, help themselves or others to drink, till the canonical, that
is the ninth hour, be fully come.’

Canon 20 enacts: ‘Let not nunneries be places of secret rendezvous for
filthy talk, junketing, drunkenness, and luxury, but habitations for
such as live in continence and sobriety.’

In the year 793 Alcuin gave good advice to the brethren at Jarrow:
‘Absconditas comessationes et furtivas ebrietates quasi foveam inferni

One of the Saxon drinks to which reference has been made, viz.
_piment_, seems to have been drunk to excess in the eighth and ninth
centuries. Piment was a fascinating compound; it was in fact a liqueur.
The word is probably derived from _pigmentarii_, apothecaries who
originally prepared it. The most common varieties of it were hippocras
and clarry. In the year 817, the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle forbad the
use of piment to the regular clergy, except on solemn festival days.

In the eighth century, taverns or ale-houses where liquor was sold
had been established, and very soon fell into disrepute. Hence the
injunction of Ecgbright that no priest go to eat or drink at a tavern

A good idea of the proportionate consumption of meats and drinks can be
obtained from the sales and gifts of provisions to the monasteries. For
instance, as has been already alluded to, we find from the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle that in the year 852, Ceolred, Abbot of Medeshamstede
(Peterborough), and the monks let to Wulfred the land of Sempringham,
on the condition that, after his decease, the land should return to
the minster, and that Wulfred should give the land of Sleaford to
Medeshamstede, and each year should deliver into the minster sixty
loads of wood, twelve of coal, six of faggots, and two tuns full of
pure ale, and two beasts fit for slaughter, and six hundred loaves, and
ten measures of Welsh ale.

But the regulations of the various monasteries widely differed, as did
the regulations of each monastery at different periods. It would appear
that at one time the use of wine was prohibited in the monastic houses;
thus, in the year 738, wine was _permitted_ to the monks of England by
a decree of Bishop Aidan, founder of Lindisfarne monastery. Sometimes
a large allowance was granted; thus Ethelwold allowed his monastery a
great bowl from which the _obbæ_ of the monks were filled twice a day
for their dinner and supper. On their festivals he allowed them at
dinner a sextarium of mead between six of the brethren, the same at
supper between twelve of them. On certain great feasts he gave them a
measure of wine.

It will be necessary when dealing with the times of King Edgar to
advert at some length to Benedictine Monachism, so we may postpone for
the present an estimate of conventual morality.

It is instructive to observe how a courageous and virtuous soul may
maintain its purity unsullied amidst surroundings the most calculated
to tarnish it. To live in any century of Saxon times was a moral
ordeal. To possess certain tastes was to enhance the probation. The
life of King Alfred furnishes us with a lesson of the type intended.
His intellectual powers and tastes would have strewn the path of most
men with briars, if not precipitated them into pitfalls. The love of
music and poetry, the concomitants of which were the ruin of so many of
his contemporaries, was conscientiously treasured by him as a talent to
be occupied. At a time when the horn of mead circulated at a festival
as freely as the harp; at a time when the song of the Northmen too
often became the pretext for intoxication and its kindred vices, Alfred
was seeking wisdom from its true source; his life was an embodiment
of temperance, soberness, and chastity. Many of his renderings of the
Roman philosopher Boethius, whose work, _De Consolatione Philosophiæ_,
he translated, or rather paraphrased, display his own sentiments on
such matters. In transmitting them, he has transmitted himself. In some
cases the thoughts of his author are widely expanded. His description,
for instance, of the golden age: ‘Oh! how happy was the first age of
this world, when every man thought he had enough in the fruits of
the earth. There were no rich homes, nor various sweet dainties, nor
drinks. They required no expensive garments, because there were none
then; they saw no such things nor heard of them. They cared not for
luxury; but they lived naturally and temperately. They always ate but
once a day, and that was in the evening. They ate the fruits of trees
and herbs. They drank no pure wine. They knew not to mix liquor with
their honey. They required not silken clothing with varied colours.
They always slept out under the shade of trees. The water of the clear
spring they drank.’ Such is the paraphrase of the king. The following
is the language of Boethius:--‘Too happy was the prior age, contented
with their faithful ploughs, nor lost in sluggish luxury; it was
accustomed to end its late fasts with the ready acorn; nor knew how to
confuse the present of Bacchus with liquid honey; nor to mingle the
bright fleece of the Seres with the Tyrian poison. The grass gave them
healthful slumbers. The gliding river their drink.’

One more example may be given; the passage which treats of tyrannical
kings: ‘If men should divest them of their clothes, and withdraw from
them their retinue and their power, then might thou see that they be
very like some of their thegns that serve them, except that they be
worse. And if it was now to happen to them, that their retinue was for
a while taken away, and their dress and their power, they would think
that they were brought into a prison, or were in bondage; because from
their excessive and unreasonable apparel, from their sweetmeats, and
from the various drinks of their cup, the raging course of their luxury
is excited, and would very powerfully torment their minds.’

What other king would thus have caricatured his own order? What other
man would have treated his own surroundings with such persiflage?
Surely here he must have blindly adhered to the text of his author. Is
it so? The English of Boethius is, ‘If from the proud kings whom you
see sitting on the lofty summit of the throne ... any one should draw
aside the coverings of a vain dress, you would see the lord loaded
with strong chains within. For here greedy lust pours venom on their
hearts; here turbid anger, raising its waves, lashes the mind; or
sorrow wearies her captives, or deceitful hope torments them.’

And yet the life of Alfred, so full of achievement as well as purpose,
was brought to a premature close. He died at the age of fifty-two. The
disease which had clung to him in boyhood was replaced in manhood by
another, equally grievous. The protracted banquets, ‘day and night,’
of his nuptial festivities are assigned as the probable cause. His
biographer, Asser, remarks:--‘His nuptials were honourably celebrated
in Mercia, among innumerable multitudes of people of both sexes; and
after continual feasts, both by night and by day, he was immediately
seized, in presence of all the people, by sudden and overwhelming pain,
as yet unknown to all the physicians.’ We further learn that this
complaint attached to him for more than twenty years. If this historian
intends that the king’s malady was the result of debauchery, the whole
tenor of his life is a flat contradiction. The panegyric of the poet
Thomson in his _Seasons_ is unimpeachable:--

            Whose hallow’d name the virtues saint,
    And his own Muses love; the best of kings!

Allusion has been made to native vineyards. The vine is mentioned in
the laws of Alfred, ‘_Si quis damnum intulerit vineæ vel agro, vel
alicui ejus terræ, compenset sicut ejus illud æstimet_’ (cap. xxvi.).
In the Saxon Calendar there is a set of drawings illustrating the
various employments and pastimes of the year; the one attached to
the month of February gives some men pruning trees, vines apparently
among them. However, this proves little, for the cuts appended to the
months for gathering in the vintage represent scenes of hawkings
and boar-huntings; the labours of the husbandmen being evidently
subordinate. (A copy of this is inserted in Strutt’s _Horda_, vol. i.
pl. xi.)

Something less than half a century from the death of Alfred brings us
to the tragical end of King Edmund the Elder, for which unquestionably
strong drink has to answer. Amidst much variety of statement on the
part of the chroniclers, certain details seem fairly established. The
day of the occurrence was the anniversary or Mass-day of St. Augustine
(May 26), a day always observed among the Anglo-Saxons whose apostle
he was. A banquet was held at which Leof, a noted outlaw, was present.
While the cup was circulating the king observed the intruder. Heated
with wine he started from his seat, seized the outlaw, and felled him
to the ground. Leof grappled with the king, and with his concealed
dagger stabbed his royal antagonist, A.D. 946. The event is said to
have happened at Pukelechirche (Pucklechurch), in Gloucestershire,
where was a palace of the Saxon kings.

Hard indeed it was for a king to escape such surroundings if even his
disposition so prompted him. Of this the narrative of King Edwy affords
abundant proof. On his coronation day, he retired from the revels of
the banquet (_linquens læta convivia_), to his own apartments, much to
the chagrin of the guests, who peremptorily sent to fetch him back.
Dunstan and Cynesius were the agents employed. The king, probably
loathing the drunkenness of a Saxon debauch, declined to return, upon
which he was dragged by Dunstan from his seat to the hall of revelry.
We may wonder that so distinguished an ecclesiastic should thus have
urged the king to a scene of intemperance, but it is not wholly
inconsistent with other details of his actions, of which the following
narrative will serve as an illustration. King Athelstan dined with
his relative Ethelfleda. The royal providers came to see if all was
ready and suitable. Having inspected all, they told her, ‘you have
plenty of everything, provided your mead holds out.’ The king came
with numerous attendants. In the first salutation the mead ran short.
Dunstan’s sagacity had foreseen the event, and provided against it.
Though the cupbearers, as is the custom at royal feasts, were all the
day serving it up in cut horns and other vessels, the liquor held out.
This delighted the king, and much credit redounded to Dunstan (Turn.
_A. S._, lib. vii. c. iii. who cites MS. Cott. Cleop. B. 13).

But the very name of Dunstan at once conveys us to the arcana of
Monachism, and to the consideration of some of its alleged vices. Our
business is to confine ourselves to the aspersions cast upon it on
the score of intemperance. Two cautions are here necessary. First, in
estimating the morality of the monks, it must be remembered that in the
tenth century the monastic system had acquired a vast development, some
of the monasteries containing several hundred inmates, many of whom
were laymen. To these latter the intemperance is attributed by some
Roman Catholic writers, whilst others do not hesitate to charge the
monastic orders with excesses. In the next place it was the interest
of Dunstan and his party to expose the irregularities of the _secular_
priests, whom he hated as much as he despised, and whose ejection he
compassed to make room for the _regular_ monks, his pets. The harangue
of King Edgar to the council convened by Dunstan may be taken as the
saint’s indictment of the clergy, of whom the king says:--‘They spend
their days in diversions, entertainments, drunkenness, and debauchery.
Their houses may be said to be so many sinks of lewdness. There they
pass the night in rioting and drunkenness.’[26]

Verily, King Edgar nearly anticipated by a thousand years the
legislation proposed by the United Kingdom Alliance. Strutt says of him
that, by the advice of Dunstan, he put down many ale-houses, suffering
only one to exist in a village or small town; and he also further
ordained that pins or nails should be fastened into the drinking-cups
or horns, at stated distances, so that whosoever should drink beyond
these marks at one draught should be liable to a severe punishment.[27]
We shall have occasion to notice, when discussing the canons of Anselm,
how this very pin-drinking, devised as a prohibitive measure, became a
source of drunkenness.

Bad as was Edgar in some respects, we must clear him from a
charge preferred against him by Palgrave, and to some extent by
Lappenberg--that the vices of the foreigners who were incorporating
themselves received encouragement from the king. Whatever countenance
he gave to the Danes, it was not through them that the English
became drunkards; that vice they had been already schooled in, and
independently. The imputation, however, of these modern writers is
readily traceable to the chronicles of Henry of Huntingdon and William
of Malmesbury.

The Church certainly in this reign vied with the throne in checking
intemperance. Thus the following canons occur in a code drawn up by

    (26) ‘Let no drinking be allowed in the Church.’

    (28) ‘Let men be very temperate at Church-wakes, and pray
    earnestly, and suffer there no drinking or unseemliness.’

    (57) ‘Let Priests beware of drunkenness, and be diligent in warning
    and correcting others in this matter.’

    (58) ‘Let no Priest be an ale-scop, nor in any wise act the

In some penitential canons which Mr. Johnson assigns to Archbishop
Dunstan, with the date A.D. 963, occur in canon vi. the words, “I
confess Intemperance in eating and drinking, early and late.”

The following injunctions occur in Elfric’s canons:--

    (29) ‘Let no Priest sottishly drink to Intemperance, nor force
    others so to do, for he should be always in readiness if a child
    is to be baptized, or a man to be houseled. And if nothing of this
    should happen, yet he ought not to be drunk, for our Lord hath
    forbidden drunkenness to His ministers.’

    (30) ‘Let no Priest drink _at taverns_ as secular men do.’

    (35) ‘Nor ought men to drink or eat intemperately in God’s house,
    which is hallowed to this purpose, that the Body of God may be
    there eaten with faith. Yet men often act so absurdly as to sit up
    by night, and drink to madness within God’s house.’

        But for them ‘twere better that they
        In their beds lay,
        Than that they God angered,
        In that ghostly house.
        Let him who will watch,
        And honour God’s saints,
        With stillness watch,
        And make no noise,
        But sing his prayers,
        As he best can;
        And let him who will drink,
        And idly make noise,
        Drink at his home,
        Not in the Lord’s house,
        That he God dishonour not,
        To his own punishment.[28]

Other enactments may be discovered by the curious, scattered about
the pages of early synods, _e.g._ nunneries were not to be houses of
gossiping and drunkenness, and beds of luxury, but of sober and pious
livers. An injunction this, evidently necessary, for Fosbroke (_British
Monachism_, p. 22) speaks of the nuns of Coldingham as using oratories
for feasting, drinking, and gossiping. The same author introduces us
to the austere rule, as followed by the Britons, of Pachomius, that
singular institutor of the cenobitic life in Upper Egypt in the fourth
century. Abstinence seems to have been in force; at any rate there was
a clause forbidding wine and _liquamen_ (probably cider or perry) out
of the infirmary. The inmates were also prohibited _taverns_[29] when
necessity called them abroad. On such occasions they were restricted to
‘consecrated’ places. We have already seen that taverns at this time
were anything but respectable, so ordinary travellers rarely used them;
hence the propriety of this inhibition.

The requirements of Fulgentius, the African anchorite and bishop, were
less severe. Among regulations of diet we find: ‘To have no more meat,
drink, or clothes, than the rule allowed.’ ‘Not to eat or drink but at
stated times.’ ‘No one to take any meat or drink before the abbot.’
The monastic rules of Dunstan were certainly laxer. The ordinary times
for drinking were not too few, whilst special solemnities called for
special refreshment. In the latter category we become acquainted with
their _caritates_ or charities--that is, cups of wine, to drink which
the monks were summoned by sound of bell into the refectory, and which
must have been rendered peculiarly palatable by their listening to the
_collation_, which signified a reading of the lives of the fathers
or devout books; from which edification late suppers have derived
their name. These _charities_ varied in their composition: sometimes
they consisted of beer, sometimes a kind of honey _compôte_. Such
_indulgences_ or allowances of drink were also called _misericord_.

In the great monasteries the _Poculum Caritatis_ was placed at the
upper end of the refectory, on the abbot’s table. It was nothing more
nor less than the old wassail-bowl, the latter word obtaining its name
from the verbal formality adopted in health-drinking.’[30]

Enough has been said to correct the very common impression that the
Benedictine orders were self-mortifying ascetics. Wealthy and learned,
at times useful to souls as well as bodies, their virtues have often
been overstated, whilst their vices no less frequently have been
palliated or denied.

The canons of King Edgar’s reign furnish an almost complete epitome
of the manners of the time. His twenty-eighth canon enjoined strict
temperance at

_Church Wakes._

Much confusion has been displayed by various writers in treating of
the origin and rationale of these observances. Sir H. Spelman saw in
them such occasions of gross intemperance, that he derives the word
‘wake’ from a Saxon word meaning _drunkenness_. But the derivation is
to be found in the fact that _wake_ and _watch_ are the same words. The
feast obtained its name from the night spent in _watching--waking_.
Mr. Bourne rightly remarks[31] that at the conversion of the Saxons by
Augustine, the heathen Paganalia were continued among the converts,
with certain regulations, by order of Gregory the Great. This pope
enjoined that on the _day of dedication_, or the birthday of holy
martyrs, whose relics are there placed, the people should make to
themselves booths of the boughs of trees, round about those very
churches which had been the temples of idols, and should observe a
religious feast; that beasts be no longer sacrificed to the devil, but
for eating, and for God’s glory; that when the people were satisfied,
they should return thanks to the Giver of all good things.[32] Here is
the origin of the wake. The abuse of the original solemnity followed
in accordance with the moral law of gravitation. At first, all was
decorum; the people assembled at the church on the vigil or evening
before the saint’s day, with burning candles, where they were wont
devotionally to _wake_ during the night. In process of time ‘the pepul
fell to letcherie, and songs, and daunses, with harping and piping, and
also to glotony and sinne; and so tourned the holyness to cursydness;
wherefore holy faders ordeyned the pepull to leve that waking, and to
fast the evyn. It is called vigilia--that is, waking in English--and
eveyn, for of eveyn they were wont to come to churche.’[33] We shall
find that in the reign of Edward III. Archbishop Thoresby adopted
drastic measures to remedy such like abuses; whilst about the same time
Chaucer, in his _Ploughman’s Tales_, censures the priests for caring
more for pastimes than for their duty. He says they were expert

    At the wrestlynge, and at the _wake_,
    And chief chantours at the nale.[34]

The end of all this was that they were suppressed, and fairs were
instituted on or near the saint’s day, to which the original name
attaches in many villages.

Upon the whole, the action of King Edgar was favourable to the cause of
temperance, and the perpetuation of his name on a tavern sign in the
city of Chester, which, according to the legend, has existed ever since
his time, could only be regarded as a piece of irony, were it not that
it treasures the memory of the Saxon king being rowed down the Dee, as
some report, by eight tributary kings.

An incident in the reign of Edward, the son and successor of Edgar,
is especially worthy of note as introducing us to the origin of the
custom called _pledging_ in drinking. Strutt (_Manners and Customs of
the Ancient Britons_), who evidently accepts the opinion of William
of Malmesbury, gives us the old form or ceremony of pledging, as
follows:--The person who was going to drink asked the one of the
company who sat next to him whether he would _pledge_ him, on which
he, answering that he would, held up his knife or sword to guard him
whilst he drank; for while a man is drinking he necessarily is in an
unguarded posture, exposed to the treacherous stroke of some secret
enemy. Thus a _pledge_ was a security for the safety of the person
drinking. This is said to have dated from the death of King Edward
(commonly called Edward the Martyr), A.D. 978, who was murdered by
the treachery of his step-mother Elfrida. The motive for her act is
well known. Of the two claimants to the throne, Edward and Ethelred,
she had preferred the latter, her own son, to his elder half-brother,
her stepson. The story is told very differently by the chroniclers
Gaimer, William of Malmesbury, and others; but the general purport
is that Edward, when out hunting, determined to visit Elfrida, who
was living with her son Ethelred at Corfe Castle. The queen went
out on his arrival, received him with hypocritical kindness, and
pressed him to alight, which he declined. ‘Then drink while you are
on horseback,’ said the queen. ‘Willingly,’ said the king, ‘but first
you will drink to me.’ The butlers filled a horn of claret and handed
it to her. She drank the half of the filled horn, and then handed it
to the king. While he was eagerly drinking from the cup presented,
the dagger of an attendant pierced him through. Dropping the cup, he
spurred his horse and fled. Soon he fainted through loss of blood,
and fell from his saddle. His feet hung in the stirrups, by which he
was dragged till life was extinct. It is only right to state that Mr.
Brand (_Popular Antiquities_) takes a different view of the meaning of
pledging. He imagines the phrase ‘I pledge myself’ to mean simply ‘I
follow your example.’ But while most writers refer the custom to the
Saxon incident of Edward’s death, Dr. Henry, in his _History of Great
Britain_, refers the custom to the fear of the Danes; while Francis
Wise, in his _Further Observations upon the White Horse_, with eclectic
caution remarks: ‘The custom of pledging healths, still prevalent among
Englishmen, is said to be owing to the Saxons’ mutual regard for each
other’s safety, and as a caution against the treacherous inhospitality
of the Danes when they came to live in peace with the natives.’


[26] The whole harangue may be found in Rapin’s _History of England_,
vol. i. p. 108 (2nd ed. 1732).

[27] W. of Malmesbury (§ 149) quaintly adds as the reason for the gold
or silver pegs:--‘That whilst every man knew his just measure, shame
should compel each neither to take more himself, nor oblige others to
drink beyond their own proper share.’

Compare some lines to be found in _Holborn Drollery_, 1673--

    ‘Edgar, away with pins i’ th’ cup
    To spoil our drinking whole ones up.’

Cf. also the account of these tankards in Pegge’s _Anonymiana_, 1809.

[28] This last metrical passage is added by Thorpe (_Ancient Laws
and Institutes_, vol. ii. p. 356). Sir H. Spelman gave it up as
irrecoverable. His words are ‘reliqua abscidit nequam aliquis
plagiarius.’ See Johnson’s _Collection of Laws and Canons_, sub-canon
35 of Elfric.

[29] A like prohibition occurs in Apost. Can., 46.

[30] The explanation given by Selden in a note on Drayton’s
_Polyolbion_, song 9, is perhaps as good as any. He says:--‘I see a
custome in some parts among us. I mean the yearly Was-haile in the
country on the vigil of the new yeare, which I conjecture was a usuall
ceremony among the Saxons before Hengist, as a note of health-wishing.’

[31] _Antiquitates Vulgares._

[32] The copy of this letter, which Gregory sent to the Abbot Mellitus
(A.D. 601), will be found in Bede, _Eccles. Hist._, lib. i. ch.
xxx. It is not to be supposed that Pope Gregory originated such an
ordinance. Festivals or dedications, called _encænia_, were well known
to the early Church, _e.g._ Sozomen (ii. 26) gives an account of the
dedication festival in memory of Constantine’s Church at Jerusalem. Cf.
also Hospinianus: _De festis Christianorum_, p. 113.

[33] Homily for the vigil of St. John Baptist. Harl. MS.

[34] _i.e._ ale-house.



It was at the close of this tenth century that the Danes made their
determined resolve to invade this kingdom. Here again we shall see how
closely the destinies of our country have been associated with strong
drink and its surroundings. It was at a riotous banquet that Sweyne
vowed to kill or expel King Ethelred. The mode in which a Scandinavian
heir took possession of his heritage was this: he gave a banquet, at
which he drank to the memory of the deceased, and then seated himself
in the daïs which the previous master of the house always occupied.
In conformity with this usage, Sweyne gave a succession banquet. On
the first day of the feast he filled a horn and drank to his father’s
memory, making at the same time a solemn vow that before three winters
had passed he would sail with a large army to England, and either
murder Ethelred or drive him out of the country. After all the guests
had drunk to King Harold’s memory, the horns were again filled and
emptied in honour of Christ. The third toast was given to Michael
the Archangel, and so on. There is much in this to shock, and still
more when we know that this custom was perpetuated. But Mr. Mallet
(_Northern Antiquities_, p. 113), speaking of one of the religious
ceremonies of the North, says: ‘They drank immoderately; the kings and
chief lords drank first, healths in honour of the gods; every one drank
afterwards, making some vow or prayer to the god whom he named.’ Hence
came that custom among the first Christians in Germany and the North,
of drinking to the health of our Saviour, the Apostles, and the Saints:
a custom which the Church was often obliged to tolerate.

May we infer that retributive justice was at work, and found its
expression in the vow of Sweyne? The character of Ethelred transpires
in the official message sent by the Danish settler Turkill (called
also Turketul), to Sweyne, inviting him to England. In this he
lures him by describing the country as rich and fertile, the king a
driveller, wholly given up to wine, &c., hateful to his own people, and
contemptible to foreigners.

Under such a king we cannot wonder at the Danes landing and plundering
at will. Nor are we surprised, knowing their character for excesses,
that the Danes should have acted as they did with barbarous atrocity
to one of the holiest saints whose name adorns the pages of the Roman
martyrology. St. Elphege had for some few years been transferred from
the see of Winchester to the primacy. The Danes took Canterbury by
storm, and massacred the inhabitants, in spite of the earnest protests
of the archbishop. Nor did their vengeance spare the mediator; after
brutally ill-treating him they confined him in irons in a filthy
dungeon. After the lapse of several months they offered him freedom
upon the payment of a ransom. This he stoutly refused, predicting at
the same time the downfall of their usurpation. Thereupon the Danish
chiefs, _drunken with wine from the South_, hurled at their victim
stones, bones, and the skulls of oxen, and felled him to the earth
with the back of their battle-axes. One of his converts mercifully
released him from his misery on the 19th of April, 1012. The parish
church of Greenwich, named in his honour, marks the site of his

But the deeds of blood with which drink is connected, and which
signalise this reign, are not yet all told. Two of the noblest thanes
of the Danish burghs were accused of treachery to the king, at a grand
political congress held at Oxford in the year 1015. In the banquet
chamber, when, as Malmesbury states, they were drunk to excess, they
were slain by attendants prepared for the purpose, with the assent
of Ethelred. The horrible massacre of the Danes by this king in 1002
is commonly thought to have originated the holiday known as Hoke-day
or Hock-day. This is a mistake, as will be shown in treating of this
festivity in connection with the death of Hardicanute.

Not only did strong drink minister to the conviviality of the time,
but it is evident that then, as ever, virtue was conceived to attach
to its use. The medical knowledge of the time was almost confined to
superstitious recipes; and in these ale was often an ingredient, as
was wine. For the cure of sore eyes a paste of strawberry plants and
pepper was prescribed, to be diluted for use in _sweet wine_.[36]
Again, patients, while sitting in a medicated bath, were to drink a
decoction of betony and other herbs, which were to be boiled in _Welsh
ale_. To betony were ascribed extraordinary virtues. Its fresh flowers
are said to have an intoxicating effect. Ale also formed an ingredient
in _religious charms_, _e.g._ ‘Take thrift-grass, yarrow, elehtre,
betony, penny-grass, carruc, fane, fennel, church-wort, Christmas-wort,
lovage; make them into a potion with clear ale, sing seven masses over
the plants daily,’ &c. This was a recipe for a person labouring under a
disease caused by evil spirits, and was to be administered in a church

Ethelred’s life scarcely harmonised with his laws. In the year 1008,
it is ordered, among other monitions, that diabolic deeds be shunned,
‘in gluttony and drunkenness.’ Again, at the council of Enham, the
28th ordinance cautions to the same effect. The Church also spoke out
boldly. Thus, in the 13th injunction of Theodulf’s Capitula, we read,
‘It very greatly concerns every mass-priest to guard himself against
drunkenness; and that he teach this to the people subject to him.
Mass-priests ought not to eat or drink at ale-houses.’ One piece of
the then legislation is worthy of attention to-day; an ale-house was
regarded as a privileged spot; quarrels that arose _there_ were more
severely punished than elsewhere.[37]

Whether or no the custom of pledging in drinking, to which reference
has already been made, originated in consequence of the treacherous
murder of Edward, certain it is that the usage owed its revival and
perpetuation to the perfidious inhospitality of the Danes when they
gained a footing in England. Shakespeare alludes to their dastardly
practice of stabbing the English while drinking, when he makes
Apemantus say:--

                                            ‘If I
    Were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals,
    Lest they should spy my windpipe’s dangerous notes:
    Great men should drink with harness on their throats.’[38]

So haughty were the Danes at first that they would not brook the
English drinking in their presence unless invited; indeed, they are
said to have punished such an act of supposed discourtesy with death.
No wonder, then, that our people would not venture to lift the cup
until the Danes had guaranteed their safety by a pledge.

The absurd custom of _toasting_ received from the Danes a mighty
impulse. The drinking of healths was an important element in their
civil and religious banquets. After their conversion to Christianity,
the toast of the saints took the place of that of their gods Odin and
Thor. Thus, to take an example from the life of St. Wenceslaus, ‘Taking
the cup, he says with a loud voice, “Let us drink this in the name of
the holy Archangel Michael, begging and praying him to introduce our
souls into the peace of eternal exaltation.”’[39] St. Olave, to whom
they owed their conversion, was another favourite toast. St. John the
Baptist was also thus commemorated. The old expressions, _Drink-heil_,
_Was-heil_, had given place to _Pril-wril_,[40] the precursors of the
more modern _hob-nob_, a term which now is used to denote close and
familiar friendship, but which once under the form of ‘habbe or nabbe’
denoted ‘have or have not,’ and then became narrowed in meaning to the
convivial question whether a person will _have_ a glass to drink, or
_not_, and so passed to its present intention.[41]

The chronicler, John Brompton, is right in saying, ‘by nature the
Danes are mighty drinkers,’ but he errs like the rest of them in saying
that they left that quality as a perpetual inheritance to the English.
The Saxons had already done this. And it is a question whether in
this respect the Danes did not learn quite as much as they taught.
Iago was probably right in his dialogue with Cassio, ‘Your Dane, your
German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, drink, oh! are nothing to
your English.’[42] At any rate, the Danish kings adopted the Saxon
drinks--ale, cider, mead, wine, morat, and pigment, and half the Danish
dynasty adopted them to their ruin.

The tragical end of Hardicanute is characteristic of the age in which
he lived, and was in keeping with his life. A wedding-feast was given
at Lamhithe (Lambeth) by Osgod Clapa, a great lord, in celebration
of the marriage of his daughter Githa with Tovi Pruda, a Danish
nobleman; when, according to the Saxon Chronicle, the king Harthacnut,
as he stood at his drink, suddenly fell to the earth with a terrible
convulsion ... and after that spake not one word. Others add that he
fell in the act of pledging the company in a huge bumper.[43] Smollett
attributes his immediate end to over-eating at this banquet, at the
same time asserting that he was particularly addicted to feasting and
drinking, which he indulged to abominable excess. To the same effect,
Rapin writes: ‘All historians unanimously agree, he spent whole days
and nights in feasting and carousing.’

We cannot leave this short-reigned votary of the cup without
noticing the celebrated antiquarian hoax played upon Richard Gough,
the famous English antiquary of the last century, by the fabrication
of an inscription purporting to record the death of the Saxon king,
Hardicanute. Steevens, as an act of revenge, obtained the fragment of
a chimney slab, and scratched upon it the inscription in Anglo-Saxon
letters, of which all I can make is, ‘HeRe HARDNUT CYNING GEDRONGE VIN
HYRN’--_i.e._ ‘here Harthcanute, king, drank wine horn,’ &c.[44]

It was alleged to have been discovered in Kennington Lane, where the
palace of the monarch was said to be situated, and the fatal drinking
bout to have taken place. Gough fell into the trap, exhibited the
curiosity to the Society of Antiquaries; Mr. Pegge, F.S.A., wrote
a paper on it; the society’s draughtsman, Schnebbelie, drew the
inscription, and it was engraved in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_.

A curious festival is said to commemorate King Hardicanute’s death.
John Rouse relates that the anniversary of it was kept by the English
as a holiday in his time, four hundred years afterwards, and was called


This festival in its various intentions is found variously described as
_hoke-day_, _hock-tide_, _hob-tide_, _hog’s-tide_, _hawkey_, _hockey_,
_horkey_. As numerous as its names are the derivations suggested for
them. Thus, Dr. J. Nott, in a note to Herrick’s Ode, _The Hock-Cart_,
speaks of Hock-tide or _Heag-tide_ as signifying high-tide, the height
of merriment (from _heag_ or _heah_, high). Bryant (cited in Nares’
_Glossary_) derives it from the German _hoch_, high. Fosbroke (_Encyc.
Antiq._) speaks of the hocking on St. Blaze’s Day (Feb. 3) as taken
from the women who were torn by _hokes_ and crotchets mentioned in his
legend. Verstegan (_Restitution of Decayed Intelligence_, 1634) derives
Hoc-tide from Heughtyde, which, he says, means in the Netherlands a
festival season. Sir H. Spelman derives it from the German _hocken_,
to put in heaps: a derivation which would well suit the application
of the term to a harvest festival, as would the German _hocke_, a
heap of sheaves. But surely S. D. Denne is right (_Hist. Particulars
of Lambeth_) in deriving it from _hochzeit_, wedding. As it was at
the celebration of the feast at the wedding of a Danish lord Canute
Pruden with Lady Pitha that Hardicanute died suddenly, our ancestors
had certainly sufficient grounds for distinguishing the day of so
happy an event by a word denoting the wedding-feast, the wedding-day,
the wedding Tuesday. And if the justness of this conjecture shall be
allowed, may not the reason be discovered why the women bore rule on
this celebrity, for all will admit that at a wedding the bride is the
queen of the day.

If we refer the original of this festival to the eleventh century,
two occasions present themselves as claimants for the honour. The
first is the massacre of the Danes under Ethelred, 1002. The old
Coventry play of Hock-Tuesday points to this date. This play, which
was performed before Queen Elizabeth in 1575, represented a series of
skirmishes between the English and Danes, in which the latter, after
two victories, were overcome, and many led captive in triumph by the
women. This play the men of Coventry explained to be grounded on story,
and to be an old-established pageant. The custom may, at any rate,
be traced back to the thirteenth century. Two objections are lodged
against the reference of the festival to this occurrence. In the first
place it does seem a valid objection that a holiday could never have
been instituted to commemorate an event which afforded matter rather
for humiliation than for mirth and festivity. The measure was unwise
as it was inhuman, for Sweyn terribly retaliated the next year, and
inflicted upon the country unparalleled misery and oppression. The
second objection is that of Henry of Huntingdon, who thinks the dates
cannot be made to fit, the massacre of the Danes being on St. Brice’s
Day (Nov. 13), and the death of Hardicanute June 8. But this difficulty
would be removed if we accepted the statement of Milner (_Hist.
Winchester_), that by an order of Ethelred, the sports were transferred
from November to the Monday in the third week after Easter. And here
the question opens as to the _day of the week_ upon which the feast
was celebrated. Dr. Plot (_Hist. Oxon._) makes Monday the principal
day; on the other hand Tuesday is of general acceptance: hence the
special designations, Hock-Tuesday, Binding-Tuesday. The fact is, that
the Monday was the vigil of the festival, and soon came to be kept in
common with the festival.

In Ellis’s edition of Brand’s _Popular Antiquities_ will be found a
number of financial extracts of ancient records referring to this
feast--_e.g._ in the parish registers of St. Lawrence, Reading, in the
year 1499, we find recorded:--

‘Item, received of Hock money gaderyd of women, xx_s_.

‘Item, received of Hok money gaderyd of men, iiij_s_.’

In the St. Giles’s parish register, under date 1535: ‘Hoc money
gatheryd by the wyves, xiij_s_. ix_d_.’

In the register of St. Mary’s parish, 1559: ‘Hoctyde money, the men’s
gathering, iij_s_. The women’s, xij_s_.’

These hoc-tydes came to be scenes of revelry and excess, causing their
inhibition, in 1450, by the Bishop of Worcester. This would simply
apply to his own diocese. They were still apparently in vogue in the
seventeenth century; thus Wyther[45]:--

                  Because that once a yeare
    They can affoord the poore some slender cheere,
    Observe their country feasts or common doles,
    And entertain their Christmass wassaile boles,
    Or els because that, for the Churche’s good,
    They in defence of _Hock-tide_ custome stood,
    A Whitsun-ale or some such goodly motion, &c.

The custom has now long been abolished.

One feature of the social life of the Saxons is especially interesting,
in which we see the precursor of the modern club. Voluntary
associations, or _sodalitates_, were frequently formed, the objects of
which were variously, protection, conviviality, and relief, both for
soul and body. Turner mentions a gild-scipe (_guild-ship_) at Exeter,
which purported to have been made for God’s love and their soul’s need.
The meetings were three times a year, besides the holy-days after
Easter. Every member was to bring a certain quantity of malt, and
every cniht was to add a less quantity and some honey. The fines of
their own imposition imply that the materials of conviviality were not

Historians are for once unanimous in depicting the general character
of the Anglo-Saxons. Perhaps none have painted it in blacker colours
than Niebuhr. England, he says, at the time of the Conquest was not
only effete with the drunkenness of crime, but with the crime of
drunkenness. The soldiery, as was natural, shared in the general
demoralisation. They laboured under a greater deficiency than any which
can result from the want of weapons or of armour. Stout, well-fed, and
hale, the Anglo-Saxon when sober was fully a match for any adversary
who might be brought from the banks of the Seine or the Loire. But they
were addicted to _debauchery_, and the wine-cup unnerves the stoutest
arm.[47] These were the troops who fortified themselves for the fatal
battle of Hastings with strong drink, and whose cries of revelry
resounded throughout the night. In the quaint language of Fuller,
‘The English, being revelling before, had in the morning their brains
arrested for the arrearages of the indigested fumes of the former
night, and were no better than drunk when they came to fight.’[48]


[35] The life of St. Elphege may be found in Wharton’s _Anglia Sacra_,
vol. ii., and a brief account of him in Butler’s _Lives of the Saints_,
sub. April 19. An engraving of the saint is given in the _Calendar of
the Prayer Book Illustrated_, taken from an effigy in Wells Cathedral.

[36] MS. Reg. 12, D. xvii., fol. 13-20. Cf. Wright, _Biog. Britann.
Liter._, p. 98, &c.

[37] Hume: _Hist. Eng._, vol. i. 123.

[38] _Timon of Athens_, act i. sc. 2.

[39] Some interesting information on this head may be found in an
article in Du Cange’s _Glossarium ad Script. Lat._, sub ‘Bibere in
amore Sanctorum.’

[40] Cf. Fosbroke, _British Monachism_, who cites MS. Cott. Tiber, B.

[41] Several examples are given in the article in Nares’ _Glossary_,
edited by the distinguished antiquaries J. O. Halliwell-Phillips, Esq.,
and the late Mr. Thomas Wright.

[42] Shakespeare, _Othello_, act ii. scene 3.

[43] See Cotton MSS., _Tib._, b. i. and _Tib._, b. iv. Allen, _Hist. of
Lambeth Chronicle of Florence of Worcester_.

[44] Another interpretation is given in _Book of Days_, sub., Dec. 13.
See engraving in _Gentleman’s Magazine_, vol. lx. 1790, pt. 3, p. 217.

[45] _Abuses Stript and Whipt_, 1618.

[46] _Anglo-Saxons_, lib. vii. ch. x.

[47] Palgrave: _Hist. of Anglo-Saxons_, ch. xiv.

[48] Fuller: _Church Hist. of Britain_, lib. iii. § 1. The indictment
is endorsed by Mr. Freeman upon the authority of William of Malmesbury:
‘The English spent the night in drinking and singing, the Normans in
prayer and confession of their sins’--_Norman Conquest of England_,
iii. 241.



We have now arrived at a period which introduces a new element in
the formation of our national social life. Information respecting
the habits of the Normans is derivable not only from the chroniclers
and historians of the period, but from illuminated manuscripts,
Anglo-Norman fabliaux, the Bayeux tapestry, wood and other carvings in
sacred edifices, and even from chessmen.[49]

The Norman historians insist that their countrymen introduced greater
sobriety, and are ever contrasting their own morality with that of the
Saxons to the disparagement of the latter. William of Malmesbury speaks
of the Saxon nobility as given up to luxury and wantonness: ‘Drinking
in parties was a universal practice, in which occupation they passed
entire nights as well as days. The vices attendant on drunkenness,
which enervate the human mind, followed; hence it arose that when
they engaged William, more with rashness and precipitate fury than
military skill, they doomed themselves and their country to slavery,
by one, and that an easy, victory.’[50] Some of our later writers,
making little allowance for the national bias of Norman historians,
have even intensified this contrast. Thus, a modern gleaner of English
literature ventures to assert that the brutal intemperance to which
the Saxon was so prone, the Norman was free from. But scenes and
incidents which are ready to hand from Norman history must lead us to
modify such an opinion, or at any rate compel the acknowledgment that
the Normans very soon accommodated themselves to the luxurious habits
of the English.[51] Among the many conspiracies formed in the reign
of the first William, one at least was organised and developed amidst
the surroundings of excess, which cost one of its noble projectors
his life. The king had refused to give his consent to the alliance by
marriage of the noble houses of Norfolk and Hereford. Opportunity was
taken of the king’s absence from the country to cement the union. A
splendid banquet marked the event. Among the many distinguished guests
was Earl Waltheof. Norfolk and Hereford, fearing the anger of the king
at their disobedience, formed a scheme to depose him, and communicated
the same to their guests as soon as they saw them heated with wine.
Waltheof, who had well drunk, readily entered into the conspiracy; but
on the morrow, when the fumes of the drink were dispersed, he repented
his rash precipitation. Betaking himself to Lanfranc he confessed
all--he urged in extenuation that his intemperance on the occasion
had prevented due reflection, and craved his mediation. All was of no
avail; he was apprehended and publicly beheaded. Thus fell another of
the long roll of victims to drink.

A scene in lower life is depicted in the life of Hereward. The hero
in disguise is taken into King William’s kitchen to entertain the
cooks. After dinner the wine and ale were freely distributed, and the
result was a violent quarrel between the cooks and Hereward; the former
used the tridents and forks for weapons, while he took the spit from
the fire as a still more formidable weapon of defence.[52] On another
occasion, when Hereward secretly returned to his paternal home, which
had been taken possession of by a Norman intruder, he was aroused in
the middle of the night by sounds of boisterous revelry and merriment.
Stealthily approaching, he saw the new lord of Brunne with his knights
overcome by deep potations, and enjoying the coarse songs and brutal
jests of a wandering minstrel.

An anecdote producing the same kind of impression is told of Wulstan,
Bishop of Worcester. In the time of the Conqueror he was obliged to
retain a large retinue of men-at-arms through fear of the Danes.
He would not dine in private, but sat in his public hall with his
boisterous soldiers; and while they were drinking for hours together at
dinner, he would keep them company to restrain them by his presence,
pledging them, when it came to his turn, in a tiny cup which he
pretended to taste, and in the midst of the din ruminating to himself
on the Psalms.[53]

The illuminated manuscripts of the period abound with illustrations of
banquets, cupbearers, servants in cellars, &c., that suggest that the
life then was not more than either meat or drink. Rightly did John of
Salisbury remark that William would have deserved more renown had he
rather promulgated laws of temperance to a nation which he would not
have subdued by arms had it not already been conquered by excess of

As late as the year 1070 we are reminded of the intemperate propensity
of the Danes. During that year Sweyn visited this country. According to
the Saxon Chronicle they rifled the minster of Peterborough, put out to
sea with the spoil, and were arrested by a storm which scattered their
ships in all directions. Some of the spoil, it appears, was brought
back for safety, and placed in the identical church. Then afterwards,
continues the Chronicle, ‘through their carelessness and through their
drunkenness, on a certain night the church and all that was within it
was consumed with fire. Thus was the minster of Peterborough burnt and

We have already enumerated the drinks adopted by the Saxons and the
Danes. They were principally ale, wine, mead, cider, morat, and
pigment. To these their Norman successors added clarré, garhiofilac,
and hippocras. Wine was perhaps more used than formerly, being chiefly
imported from France; but ale and mead were the common drinks. The
innumerable entries in Domesday Book show how large a proportion of the
productions of the country at this time consisted in honey, which was
used chiefly for the manufacture of mead.

New _plantations of vines_ seem to have been made about the time of
the Conquest, _e.g._ in the village of Westminster, at Chenetone in
Middlesex, Ware in Hertfordshire, Hanten in Worcestershire. They are
measured by arpents (arpenni). Holeburne had its vineyard, which came
into the possession of the Bishops of Ely, and subsequently gave its
name to a street which still exists. In Domesday Book (1086), among
the lands of Suein in Essex, is an entry respecting an enclosure of
six arpents, which in good seasons (_si bene procedit_) yielded twenty
modii of wine.

Vineyards were attached to the greater abbeys, especially in the south.
This is easily accountable: (1) The situation was in well sheltered
valleys, (2) Many of the monks were foreigners, and would know the
best modes of culture. Canterbury Church and St. Augustine’s Abbey had
vineyards; so had Colton, St. Martin’s, Chertham, Brook, Hollingburn,
and Halling, also Santlac near Battle, and Windsor.

William of Malmesbury, speaking of the fertility of the Vale of
Gloucester, and the spontaneous growth of apple-trees, adds that
_vineyards_ were more abundant there (_vinearum frequentia densior_)
than in any other district of England, the crops more abundant, and the
flavour superior. Moreover, the wines were very little behind those of
France. Mr. Barrington is clearly in error (_Archæol._ iii. p. 77) in
imagining that Malmesbury intends orchards and cider, not vineyards and
vines. Surely he would have used the terms then in use for these--viz.
_pomeria_ and _poma_. Indeed, in another passage, Malmesbury, speaking
of Thorney in the Isle of Ely, says it was studded on the one side with
apple-trees, on the other covered with vines, which either trail or are
supported on poles. Knight remarks that this question of the ancient
growth of the vine in England was the subject of a regular antiquarian
passage-at-arms in 1771, when the Hon. Daines Barrington entered the
lists to overthrow all the chroniclers and antiquaries from Malmesbury
to Pegge, and to prove that English grapes were currants and that the
vineyards of Domesday Book were nothing but gardens. The Antiquarian
Society inscribed the paper pellets shot on the occasion as _The
Vineyard Controversy_.

Speaking of the Windsor vines, William Lambarde says that tithe of them
was yielded in great plenty, ‘accompts have been made of the charges of
planting the vines that grew in the little park, as also of making the
wines, whereof some parts were spent in the household and some sold for
the king’s profit.’

The list of religious houses to which vineyards, and in many cases
orchards likewise, were attached might be indefinitely extended. There
is a record of a vineyard at St. Edmundsbury. The Saxon Chronicle
states that Martin, Abbot of Peterborough, planted another. William
Thorn, the monastic chronicler, writes that in his abbey of Nordhome
the vineyard was profitable and famous. But notwithstanding all this,
vine cultivation in this country could never commercially compete
with France; and wine would have been to the mass of the people an
unattainable luxury, had not the ports of Southampton and Sandwich been
open to foreign exports.

A glance at the occupations of the servants will afford some idea
of the monastic life of the period; _e.g._ in the time of William
Rufus, the servants at Evesham numbered five in the church, two in
the infirmary, two in the cellar, five in the kitchen, seven in
the bakehouse, four brewers, four menders, two in the bath, two
shoe-makers, two in the orchard, three gardeners, one at the cloister
gate, two at the great gate, five at the vineyard, four who served the
monks when they went out, four fishermen, four in the abbot’s chamber,
three in the hall.[55]

The name of the second William is one of the blots on our regal
history. He possessed, as is believed, his father’s vices without
his virtues. Rapin observes that William I. balanced his faults by a
religious outside, a great chastity, and a commendable temperance, but
that his son was neither religious, nor chaste, nor temperate; whilst
Malmesbury tells that he met with his tragical end in the New Forest
after he had soothed his cares with a more than usual quantity of wine.
In his reign excess and sensuality prevailed amongst the nobility as
everywhere, unchecked and well-nigh unrebuked; the voice even of the
Primate being stifled for the moment in the general profligacy, for,
failing of the co-operation of his suffragans, he quitted the kingdom,
powerless to cope with the depravity of the times.

An earnest desire on the part of Henry to curry favour and popularity
with the people was the cause of the recall of the archbishop from his
retirement at Lyons. His efforts after a reformation of manners were at
once renewed. Among the canons of Anselm, decreed at Westminster 1102,
appears the following:--‘That priests go not to drinking bouts, nor
drink to pegs (_ad pinnas_).’[56] It will be remembered that Archbishop
Dunstan had ordained that pins or nails should be fastened into the
drinking-cups at stated distances, to prevent persons drinking beyond
these marks. This well intended provision had been terribly perverted,
and the pegs intended for the restriction of potations became the
provocatives of challenges to drink, and thus the instruments of
intemperance. This abuse, at first an occasional sport, developed into
a custom, and was called _pin-drinking_ or _pin-nicking_, and to it we
owe the common slang, ‘_He is in a merry pin_.’ The cups thus marked
with pins, usually called _peg-tankards_, held two quarts. Inside was
a row of eight pegs, one above the other from top to bottom; thus
was there half a pint between each peg. Each person in turn drank a
peg-measure; thus, while the capabilities of the persons drinking were
variable, the draughts were a fixed quantity, so this inevitably gave
rise to intemperance, more especially as the tankards were renewed _ad

The asceticism of Anselm met with the usual opposition. One of Queen
Matilda’s letters to the Primate contained a strong effort to dissuade
him from such a habit. She urged the comfortable advice to Timothy,
besides quoting Greek and Roman philosophers. Nor would his views be
palatable to many of the clergy, who in this respect fell under the
impeachment of the chroniclers, whilst even the high places of the
Church were open to animadversion. The story is told of Ralph Flambard,
Bishop of Durham, that when lodged in the White Tower he freed himself
by stratagem. He provided himself in prison with stores of wine. Among
the casks sent in was one which a confederate had filled, not with
wine, but with a coil of rope. The gaolers he plied with drink, till
overcome by it they left him free to act. Thus did the Bishop make his

From incidental notices we gather that strong drink was used in
profusion. Thus in the king’s _progresses_, when too often wholesale
spoliation marked the action of his retinue, we read of his followers
burning provisions, washing their horses’ feet with the ale or mead,
pouring the drink on the ground, or otherwise wasting it.

The tragedy of the reign was the loss of the ‘Blanche Nef.’ King Henry
and his heir, Prince William, embarked at Harfleur for England on
the same night in separate vessels. The prince, to make the passage
agreeable, took with him a number of the young nobility. All was
mirth and joviality. The prince ordered three casks of wine to be
given to the ship’s crew. The mariners were in consequence many of
them intoxicated when they put out to sea at nightfall. It was the
great desire of the prince to overtake his father, who had sailed
considerably earlier, and this emulation was one of the causes of the
disaster. The vessel, which was sailing dangerously fast, struck upon
a rock and began to sink. The prince would, however, have been saved
in a boat that was lowered, but, putting back in response to the cries
of his half-sister, the boat sunk beneath the load of the numbers
who tried to avail themselves of its succour. Of some three hundred
passengers aboard the White Ship, only one escaped to tell the mournful
tale. The king, it is said, was never after seen to laugh, though he
survived the dismal wreck about fifteen years. Personally, he was a
man of strictly regular habits. Never was he known to be guilty of any
excess in eating or drinking, except that which cost him his life. A
surfeit of lampreys is said to have hastened his end; but for this,
all history endorses the testimony of the chronicler that he was plain
in his diet, rather satisfying the calls of hunger than surfeiting
himself by variety of delicacies. He never drank but to allay thirst,
execrating the least departure from temperance both in himself and in
those about him.

Allusions abound in this Norman period to convivial meetings of the
middle and lower classes in inns or private houses. The miracles of
St. Cuthbert, as related by Reginald of Durham, give an insight to
their private life in the earlier part of the twelfth century. Thus, a
parishioner of Kellow, near Durham, is described as passing the evening
drinking with the parish priest. Returning home late he was pursued by
dogs, and reaching his own house in terror, shut the door upon them.
He then mounted to a garret window to look at his persecutors, when he
was seized with madness, and his family being roused carried him into
the court and bound him to the seats (_sedilia_). On another occasion,
a youth and his monastic teacher are represented as going to a tavern,
and passing the whole of the night in drinking, till one of them
becomes intoxicated, and cannot be prevailed on to return home.

Hospitality in these troublous times was freely exercised. The
monasteries had their open guest-houses; the burgesses in the
towns were in the habit of receiving strangers as private lodgers,
in addition to the accommodation afforded in the regular taverns

Sir Walter Scott would be ready to defend the clergy, as we found him
shielding the Norman nobles from any such imputation. The dialogue
in _Ivanhoe_ will be remembered. ‘An’ please, your reverence,’ said
Dennet, ‘a drunken priest came to visit the sacristan at St. Edmund’s.’
‘It does not please my reverence,’ answered the Churchman, ‘that there
should be such an animal as a drunken priest, or, if there were, that
a layman should so speak of him. Be mannerly, my friend, and conclude
the holy man only wrapped in meditation, which makes the head dizzy and
foot unsteady, as if the stomach were filled with new wine. I have
felt it myself.’

For reasons to be mentioned immediately, home vineyards were beginning
to be less cultivated, though they were not by any means discontinued.
William of Malmesbury tells of a vineyard attached to his monastery,
which was first planted in the eleventh century by a Greek monk who
settled there. The Exchequer Rolls contain a discharge of the sheriffs
of Northampton and Leicester, in the fifth year of Stephen, for certain
expenses incurred on account of the royal vineyard at Rockingham.

The acquisition of the Duchy of Guienne (1152) naturally led to an
interchange of commodities between England and France. Wine traffic
with Bordeaux was at once established; and from this time our statutes
are laden with ordinances concerning the importation of French wine,
most of which, in conformity to the mistaken notions of political
economy in those times, fix the _maximum_ of price for which they were
to be sold.


[49] Mr. Samuelson (_History of Drink_) observes that on the chessmen
of the twelfth century the queen usually carries a drinking-horn.

[50] _Hist. Reg._, § 245.

[51] Sir Walter Scott defends the character of the Norman nobles from
the charge of intemperance. See _Ivanhoe_, p. 100.

[52] Wright, _Homes of other Days_, p. 100.

[53] Bridgett, _Disc. of Drink_, p. 102.

[54] _De Nugis Curialium_, lib. viii.

[55] Cutt’s _Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages_.

[56] Canon ix. Cp. Johnson’s _English Canons_, pt. ii. p. 26. Wilkins,
_Concil._ I. 382. Concil. Londinens. A.D. 1102, ap. Spelm. II. 24.



The period on which we now enter, called, in compliance with usage, the
_Plantagenet_, might for our present purpose more strictly be named
_The Light Wine Period_. And it is instructive; and might have served
for instruction to certain of our legislators in the present reign, who
first tried beer (houses) to put down spirit drinking, and then tried
wine to put down spirits and beer. The facts of English history were
disregarded, and these _remedial_ expedients were adopted, in the light
of which the irony of the Spartans pales, who to put down drunkenness
made their slaves drunk, and then exhibited them as hideous examples.

We have seen that the traffic of wines with Bordeaux was brought about
through the marriage of Henry II. with Eleanor of Aquitaine. That
‘great Provence dower,’ as Dante calls it, was the secret of the new
trade with Guienne and Gascony, provinces which had both been erected
into the dukedom of Aquitaine in the preceding century. The Normans
were the great carriers. In the centre of the vessels that brought home
the produce of the new English possessions in France were large fixed
tanks (_Pipæ gardæ_), and right well did the sailors understand the
process known as ‘sucking the monkey,’ or, in plain English, furtively
drawing off the wine from its receptacle in course of transit. And they
must have had plenty of choice, for amongst the wines imported were
Muscadell, Malmsey, Rhenish, Dele, Stum, Wormwood, Gascony, Alicant,
Canary, Sack, Sherry, and Rumney.

At the very time that the English were enjoying the wines of France,
our French neighbours were reciprocally appreciative. William
FitzStephen, in his _Life of Thomas à Becket_, states that when he went
as chancellor into France to negotiate a royal marriage, two of the
waggons which accompanied him were laden with beer in iron-bound casks
for presents to the French, ‘who admire that kind of drink, for it is
wholesome, clear, of the colour of wine, and of a better taste.’

To this period many writers refer the origin of


And, as in many other cases, when the inventors are unknown, the
Arabians are at once accredited with the discovery. The argument
probably runs thus--_Alcohol_, _alchymy_, _alchymist_, _alembic_,
have all something in common; moreover, they all begin with _al_,
and _al_ is the Arabic article, _therefore_ alcohol was invented by
the Arabians. So high an authority as Gibbon (_Decline and Fall_) is
of opinion that ‘_they_ first invented and named the alembic for the
purpose of distillation.’ Indeed, it is the commonly received opinion
that their visionary hope of finding an elixir of immortal health led
them to the discovery of alcohol, and entailed upon mankind a beverage
which has proved to some a blessing, but to millions a curse.

But the derivation of the words is the history of their origin.
_Alembic_ is the Greek ἄμβιξ, a beaker, with the Arabic prefix _al_,
which is intensive. _Alcohol_ is the Hebrew _Kaal_ (Chaldaic _cohal_),
with the same prefix, and signifies something highly subtilised, pure
spirit.[57] The Arabians owed much to other countries; they were
rather restorers and improvers than inventors. They formed the link
which unites ancient and modern literature; but their superstitious
reverence for antiquity checked originality of ideas and freedom of
thought. In respect of the discovery in question, it is certain that
the invention preceded the days of the Saracens. Pliny very nearly
described the process. Thus, he details the mode of obtaining an
artificial quicksilver by distillation; and in another book (xv.),
he speaks of the vapour arising from boiling pitch being collected on
fleeces of wool spread over pots, and afterwards extracted from them
by expression. Galen, the famous medical writer of the second century,
speaks of distillation _per descensum_; while Zosimus, a writer of the
fifth century, has given figures of a distilling apparatus which
Borrichius has copied in his _Hermetis et Ægyptiorum Chemicorum

The sobriety of the country can be tolerably gauged from a comparison
of such contemporary writers as John of Salisbury, Giraldus Cambrensis,
and Peter of Blois. The former of these, in a letter to a friend,
writes:--‘You know that the constant habit of drinking has made the
English famous among all foreign nations.’ In another letter, sent
by him to this country: ‘Both nature and national customs make you
drunkards. It is a strife between Ceres and Bacchus. But, in the beer
which conquers, and reigns, and domineers with you, Ceres prevails.’
Again, in his _Polycraticus_, he distinguishes between vulgar feasts,
when the mightiest tippler is considered the best man, and polite
feasts, where sobriety becomes joyous, and plenty does not lead to
excess. Giraldus Cambrensis, Archdeacon of Brecknock at the close of
the twelfth century, describes a dinner with the Prior of Canterbury
where were a variety of wines such as piment and claret, besides mead,
&c. Of the Irish clergy, he says, ‘you will not find one who, after
all his rigorous observance of fasts and prayer, will not make up at
night for the labours of the day, by drinking wine and other liquors
beyond all bounds of decorum.’ Peter of Blois observes, in one of his
letters:--‘When you behold our barons and knights going on a military
expedition, you see their baggage horses loaded, not with iron but
wine, not with lances but cheeses, not with swords but bottles, not
with spears but spits. You would imagine they were going to prepare a
great feast, rather than to make war.’

The greatest genius of the reign of Henry II. was Walter Mapes, the
king’s chaplain, best known under the names of ‘Map,’ and the ‘jovial
archdeacon.’ This last title is an anachronism, inasmuch as he was
not made Archdeacon of Oxford till the reign of Henry’s son Richard,
when he was no longer an author. His powerful satire was directed
against the growing corruptions of the Church. Never were abuses more
sweepingly exposed than in his famous _Apocalypse of Golias_--Bishop
Golias being an imaginary impersonation of ecclesiastical profligacy.
In estimating the personal qualifications of Mapes to sit in judgment
on his clerical brethren, it should be remembered that he was the
author of a celebrated drinking ode in Leonine verse, which has a
singularly Bacchanalian ring about it. Camden alludes to the author as
one who filled England with his merriments, and confessed his love to
good liquor, with the causes, in this manner:--

    Mihi est propositum in taberna mori;
    Vinum sit appositum morientis ori:
    Ut dicant, cum venerint, angelorum chori,
    Deus sit propitius huic potatori.

    Poculis accenditur animi lucerna,
    Cor imbutum nectare volat ad superna;
    Mihi sapit dulcius vinum in taberna
    Quam quod aqua miscuit præsulis pincerna.

    Suum cuique proprium dat natura munus,
    Ego nunquam potui scribere jejunus;
    Me jejunum vincere posset puer unus,
    Sitim et jejunium, odi tanquam funus.

    Unicuique proprium dat natura donum,
    Ego versus faciens, vinum bibo bonum,
    Et quod habent melius dolia cauponum,
    Tale vinum generat copiam sermonum.

    Tales versus facio, quale vinum bibo,
    Nihil possum scribere, nisi sumpto cibo,
    Nihil valet penitus quod jejunus scribo,
    Nasonem post calices carmine præibo.

    Mihi nunquam spiritus prophetiæ datur,
    Nisi tunc cum fuerit venter bene satur,
    Cum in arce cerebri Bacchus dominatur,
    In me Phœbus irruit, ac miranda fatur.

Of which the following, by Robert Harrison, is an ‘Imitation.’

    I’m fixed:--I’ll in some tavern lie,
      When I return to dust;
    And have the bottle at my month,
      To moisten my dry crust:
    That the choice spirits of the skies
      (Who know my soul is mellow)
    May say, Ye gods, propitious smile!
      Here comes an honest fellow.

    My lamp of life ‘I’ll’ kindle up
      With spirits stout as Hector;
    Upon the flames of which I’ll rise
      And quaff celestial nectar.
    My lord invites me, and I starve
      On water mix’d with wine;
    But at _The Grapes_, I get it neat,
      And never fail to shine.

    To every man his proper gift
      Dame Nature gives complete:
    My humour is--before I write,
      I always love to eat;
    For, when I’m scanty of good cheer,
      I’m but a boy at best:
    So hunger, thirst, and Tyburn-tree
      I equally detest.

    Give me good wine, my verses are
      As good as man can make ‘em;
    But when I’ve none, or drink it small,
      You’ll say, The devil take ‘em!
    For how can anything that’s good
      Come from an empty vessel?
    But I’ll out-sing even Ovid’s self
      Let me but wet my whistle.

    With belly full, and heart at ease,
      And all the man at home,
    I grow prophetic, and can talk
      Of wondrous things to come.
    When, on my brain’s high citadel,
      Strong _Bacchus_ sits in state,
    Then _Phœbus_ joins the jolly god,
      And all I say is great.[58]

Others have tried their hand at a translation. S. R. Clarke (_Vestigia
Anglicana_) thus renders the first stanza:--

    Well, let me jovial in a tavern die,
      And bring to my expiring lips the bowl,
    That choirs of angels, when they come, may cry,
      Heaven be propitious to the toper’s soul.

The late Mr. Green gives the following version:--

    Die I must, but let me die drinking in an inn!
    Hold the wine-cup to my lips sparkling from the bin!
    So, when angels flutter down to take me from my sin,
    ‘Ah, God have mercy on this sot,’ the cherubs will begin![59]

It only remains to add that this enigmatical character well earned the
title of ‘the Anacreon of his age.’

The habits of the king were abstemious, an example which his sons
disregarded. So dissolute and hot was Geoffrey in his youth, remarks
Giraldus, that he was equally ensnared by allurements, and driven on
to action by stimulants. The ‘nappy ale’ and the cup of ‘lambswool,’
well known to the readers of the pretty ballad entitled ‘King Henry II.
and the Miller of Mansfield,’ were the ruin of the royal prince, so
prematurely cut off. It might have been well for the three brothers,
Geoffrey, Richard, and John, had the sumptuary laws of their father
extended to drinks as well as meats. But in forming an estimate of
individuals much is to be taken into account; and in the present
instance, in addition to youth and, perhaps, propensity, it must be
remembered that the surroundings of the court and the conviviality of
the times acted and reacted. Everything that could was made to minister
to appetite. Religion itself was made subservient to the vulgar taste.
Its festivals were accommodated to the vulgar craving. The feast of the
Saviour’s nativity was among the primitive Christians ushered in by the
display of calm devotional feeling, unalloyed with the counterfeit of
sensual enjoyment, but soon it degenerated into a scene of boisterous
activity. Such it was during the Anglo-Saxon period. Such it continued
under the line of Norman kings, with the one redeeming feature of the
assembling of the prelates and nobles of the realm for deliberating
upon the affairs of the country. As a relief, however, to these grave
deliberations the guests were feasted with a series of banquets. The
part played by Cœur de Lion at such entertainments is thus alluded to
in one of the metrical romances of the period:--

    Christmas is a time full honest;
    King Richard it honoured with great feast,
    All his clerks and barons
    Were set in their pavilions,
    And served with great plenty
    Of meat, and drink, and each dainty.

In the same way the festival of St. Martin was degraded. The old
calendars of the Church state, in the order of the day: ‘The
Martinalia, a genial Feast; wines are tasted of, and drawn from the
lees; Bacchus in the figure of Martin.’ While (says John Brady) it
generally obtained the title of the _second Bacchanal_ among old
ecclesiastical writers:--

    Altera Martinus dein Bacchanalia præbet;
    Quem colit anseribus populus multoque Lyæo.

A little old ballad tells the same tale, which begins:--

    It is the day of Martilmasse,
    Cuppes of ale should freelie passe.

Days spent in this medley of feast and deliberation gave place to
nights of revelry, at which masques and mummings formed some of the
features of the entertainments. A continual round of revelry was thus
maintained during the whole of the twelve days forming the feast of
Yule, and seldom until the expiration of the closing night’s debauch
did they return to a more sober course. A capital insight into the
manners of the times of the first Richard is supplied by Sir Walter
Scott in his historical romance _Ivanhoe_. From it we gather the forms
of _pledging_ then adopted: thus Cedric is represented as addressing
Sir Templar:--‘Pledge me in a cup of wine, and fill another to the
Abbot, while I look back some thirty years to tell you another tale.’
‘To the memory of the brave who fought’ at Northallerton! ‘Pledge me,
my guests.’ After ‘deep drinking’ a further toast is proposed:--‘Knave,
fill the goblets--To the strong in arms, be their race or language what
it will.’ On another occasion we find the hermit bringing forth ‘two
large drinking-cups, made out of the horn of the urus, and hooped with
silver. Having made this goodly provision for washing down the supper,
he seemed to think no farther ceremonious scruple necessary on his
part; but filling both cups, and saying in the Saxon fashion, ‘_Waes
Hael_, Sir sluggish knight!’ he emptied his own at a draught. ‘_Drink
Hael_, Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst!’ answered the warrior. Another story
is given in which Cedric welcomes King Richard with the same salutation.

The heads of religious houses are probably caricatured with truth.
There is exquisite satire in the letter which Conrad is made to read
from Prior Aymer:--‘Aymer, by divine grace, Prior of the Cistercian
house of St. Mary’s of Jorvaulx, to Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, a
knight of the holy order of the Temple, wisheth health, with the
bounties of King Bacchus and my Lady of Venus.... I trust to have my
part when we make merry together, as true brothers, not forgetting the
wine cup. For, what saith the text? _Vinum lætificat cor hominis._’ The
capacity of Friar Tuck is gauged by the king (chap. xli.) at ‘a but of
sack, a runlet of malvoisie, and three hogsheads of ale, of the first
strike. If,’ says the king, ‘that will not quench thy thirst, thou must
come to court, and be acquainted with my butler.’

The Chronicles of St. Edmundsbury abound with the irregularities of
this time. For instance, we read of a tournament held near St. Edmund,
after which eighty young men, sons of noblemen, were asked to dine
with the Abbot. After dinner, the Abbot retiring to his chamber, they
all arose and began to carol and sing, sending into the town for wine,
drinking, screeching, depriving the Abbot and convent of sleep, and
refusing to desist at the command of the superior. When the evening was
come they broke open the town gates, and went out. The Abbot solemnly
excommunicated them. Very few years after this (A.D. 1197) we find the
cellarer, at the same St. Edmundsbury, turned out for drunkenness.
The next year his successor committed a crime, for which the Abbot
restricted him to water. In the case of another official,[60] his
goods were seized for gross irregularities.

The clergy seem to have needed public admonition. The eighteenth of
Hubert Walter’s Legislative Canons at York enjoins: ‘Because, according
to the Word of the Lord, if the priest offend he will cause the people
to offend; and a wicked priest is the ruin of the people; therefore the
eminence of their order requires that they abstain from public bouts
and taverns.’

The tenth canon of the same archbishop, at Westminster, A.D. 1200,
ordained ‘that clerks go not to taverns or drinking bouts, for from
thence come quarrels, and then laymen beat clergymen, and fall under
the Canon.’

When such was the condition of the clergy, it would be vain to look
for a high standard of morality among the people. Richard of Devizes,
the chronicler of the acts of Richard I., exposes the intemperance of
the king’s troops engaged in Palestine, and its influence upon their
allies. He remarks: ‘The nations of the French and English, so long as
their resources lasted, no matter at what cost, feasted every day in
common sumptuously, and, with deference to the French, to something
more than satiety; and _preserving ever the remarkable custom of the
English_, at the notes of clarions, or the clanging of the trumpet or
horn, applied themselves with due devotion to drain the goblets to the
dregs. The merchants of the country, who brought the victuals into the
camp, unaccustomed to the wonderful consumption, could hardly credit
that what they saw was true, that a single people, and that small in
number, should consume three times as much bread, and a hundred times
as much wine, as that on which many nations of the heathen, and each
of them innumerable, lived. The hand of the Lord deservedly fell upon
these enervated soldiers.’[61]

Allusion has already been made to the personal habits of King Richard
I. The immediate cause of his death was an arrow which pierced
his shoulder upon the occasion of his laying siege to the castle
of Limosin. Some have blamed the unskilfulness of the surgeon in
attendance; others have said, the king himself by his intemperance did
not a little help to inflame the wound.[62]

The Edwardian romance, entitled ‘Richard Cœur de Lion,’ contains
abundant allusions to conviviality. In the following quotation, the
occurrence of the term _costrel_, by which is intended an earthen or
wooden flask, is the occasion of a paragraph in Chaffer’s valuable work
on pottery.[63]

    Now, steward, I warn thee,
    Buy us vessel great plente,
    Dishes, cuppes and saucers,
    Bowls, trays and platters,
    Vats, tuns, and costrel.

The same romance tells that it was a female minstrel, an Englishwoman,
who betrayed the knight-errant king on his return from the Holy Land.
It is worth quoting as illustrative of minstrel life which in these
times formed so prominent a feature:--

    When they had drunken well a fin,
    A minstralle com therein,
    And said, ‘Gentlemen, wittily,
    Will ye have any minstrelsey?’
    Richard bade that she should go.
    The minstralle took in mind,
    And saith, ‘Ye are men unkind;
    And if I may, ye shall for-think
    Ye gave neither meat nor drink,
    For gentlemen should bede
    To minstrels that abandon yede,
    Of their meat, wine, and ale.’[64]

In the reign of King John occurs

_The Earliest Statute on the Foreign Wine Trade_.

It was enacted (1200) that the wines of Anjou should not be sold for
more than 24_s._ a tun, and that the wines of Poitou should not be
higher than 20_s._ The other wines of France were limited to 25_s._ a
tun, ‘unless they were so good as to induce any one to give for them
two marks or more.’ Twelve honest men in every town were to superintend
this assize. This ordinance, Holinshed says, could not last long, for
the merchants could not bear it; and so they fell to, and sold white
wine for eightpence the gallon, and red, or claret, for sixpence. The
king claimed, out of every imported cargo, one tun before the mast,
and another behind it, under the name of _prisa_ or _prisa recta_,
and officers were appointed to collect and account for the same. From
the entries of this reign we discover that the principal wines then
consumed in England were--those of Anjou, chiefly white and sweet;
Gascon wine, wine of Saxony, and wine of Auxerre, which came from the
territory of the Duke of Burgundy.[65]

The introduction of these wines soon began to manifest its effects.
Roger de Hoveden, whose annals date as far as the third year of John,
says: ‘By this means the land was filled with drink and drinkers.’

That the English had a wide-spread fame for heavy drinking we
incidentally learn from an _on-dit_ of Pope Innocent III. When the case
of the exemption of the Abbey of Evesham from the Bishop of Worcester
was being argued before the pope, the bishop’s counsel said, ‘Holy
father, we have learnt in the schools, and this is the opinion of our
masters, that there is no prescription against the rights of bishops.’
The pope replied, ‘Certainly, both you and your masters had drunk too
much English beer when you learnt this.’

King John founded the Abbey of Beaulieu, which had a famous vineyard.
Possibly the imported wines did not please the palate of the monks.
Their standard may have been that of a writer of the period who has
given the world an enumeration of the qualities of good wine, which
he says should be as ‘clear as the tears of a penitent, so that a
man may see distinctly to the bottom of his glass. Its colour should
represent the greenness of a buffalo’s horn. When drunk, it should
descend impetuously like thunder, sweet-tasted as an almond, creeping
like a squirrel, leaping like a roebuck, strong, like the building of
a Cistercian monastery, glittering like a spark of fire, subtle as the
logic of the schools of Paris, delicate as fine silk, and colder than


[57] ‘Le mot en effet paraît être de l’ancienne Chaldée, où il
signifiait “brûler.” En trouve-t-on des rudiments chez les peuples
d’où nous vint d’abord cet “esprit” des liqueurs fermentées? On a cru
longtemps que c’étaient les Arabes, mais nous pensons, avec Mongez et
Pauw, que ce sont les Tartares qui en auraient appris la fabrication
par les Chaldéens. Certaines liqueurs importées de Perse en Egypte
semblent avoir été alcooliques.’ Edouard Fournier, _Mélanges_, vol.
iii. p. 517.

[58] From Ritson’s _Ancient Songs and Ballads_.

[59] _Short History of the English People._ ‘The Latin poems commonly
attributed to Walter Mapes,’ form a volume edited by the laborious Mr.
Thomas Wright for the Camden Society in 1841.

[60] Cf. Tomline and Rokewode, _Monastic and Social Life in the Twelfth

[61] Rapin, _History of England_, vol. i. p. 256.

[62] The old metrical romance of _Richard Cœur de Lyon_ has a similar
reference to the Holy Land expedition--

    ‘The cuppes fast abouten yede,
    With good wyn, pyement and clarré.’

[63] _Marks and Monograms_, p. 58.

[64] _Took in mind = was offended._ _For-think = repent._ _Bede =
give._ _Yede = travel._

[65] See Aspin’s _Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants of England_;
Maddox: _History of the Exchequer_; Burton: _Annals_.

[66] Neckam.



A curious anecdote is told of King John in a book of anecdote,[67]
that upon his last visit to Nottingham he called at the house of the
mayor, and at the residence of the priest of St. Mary’s. Finding
neither ale in the cellar of one, nor bread in the cupboard of the
other, his majesty ordered every publican in the town to contribute
sixpennyworth of ale to the mayor yearly, and that every baker should
give a halfpenny loaf weekly to the priest. This custom was continued
in the time of Blackner, the Nottingham historian, who wrote in 1815.
The king, like his brothers, was fond of drink. Sir Walter in his
_Ivanhoe_, while pleading for the general manners of his subjects,
admits that John, and those who courted his pleasure by imitating his
foibles, were apt to indulge to excess in the pleasures of the trencher
and the goblet, and adds, ‘indeed, it is well known that his death was
occasioned by a surfeit upon peaches and new ale.’ D’Aubigné, in his
_History of the Reformation_, referring to this king, says that he
drank copiously of cider, and died of drunkenness and fright. As his
authority for this, he gives in a footnote a Latin extract from Matthew
Paris to the effect that his sickness was increased by his pernicious
gluttony; he surfeited himself with peaches and new cider, which
greatly aggravated the fever in him.

The action of the Church in this reign to suppress intemperance brings
us into contact with one in particular of many kindred species of
sources of excess, namely,

_Scot Ales_.

First of all, what is the derivation of this compound term? ‘Scot’
(Saxon _sceat_, a part) signifies a portion of money assessed or
paid--hence any payment. Thus ‘scot-free’ means no payment. ‘Ale’
signifies a merry gathering, a feast, a merry-making. We find it
variously combined with prefixes which mostly explain themselves,
as bid-ale, bride-ale, church-ale, clerk-ale, Easter-ale, give-ale,
help-ale, lamb-ale, leet-ale, Midsummer-ale, scot-ale, tithe-ale,
weddyn-ale, Whitsun-ale. In each of these a festival is denoted, at
which ale was the predominant drink. In this sense Ben Jonson uses the
term in the lines:--

    And all the neighbourhood, from old records
    Of antique proverbs, drawn from Whitsun lords,
    And their authorities at wakes and ales.

And again:--

    And then satten some and songe at the ALE![68]

Scot-ales accordingly denote a gathering at which the company _share_
the drinking expenses. But the first act of legislation on the
subject presents to us the expression with a narrowed, but none the
less definite, sense. In the year 1213 King John in his absence had
appointed Fitzpiers, and Peter (the Bishop of Winchester), regents of
the kingdom. They summoned a council at St. Albans, in which, among
other matters, it was proclaimed to the sheriffs, _foresters_, and
others, as they loved their life and limbs, not to make any violent
extortions, nor dare to injure any one, or to hold _scot-ales_ anywhere
in the kingdom, as they had been wont to do. This legislation was
clearly levelled at the foresters, or officers of the forests, who kept
ale-houses and drew customers by intimidation. Mr. Bridgett has clearly
exposed their oppression. He says, ‘It will be remembered that royal
forests, or uncultivated lands, formed, at that time, no small part
of England, and that they were not subject to common law. The king’s
officers took advantage of this immunity to exercise great tyranny over
the people, and, previous to this period, sought to raise money by
setting up taverns and drinking assemblies, which the country people
were compelled to frequent for fear of incurring the displeasure of
their petty tyrants. Modes of raising money, different in form, though
similar in their nature and consequences, are by no means unknown
to publicans at the present day; and labouring men, in order to get
hired, have sometimes to purchase the good-will of the master of the
beer or gin shop in which workmen assemble and wages are paid. It will
be a happy day when a new Magna Charta shall rescue the nation from
the tyranny of the “liquor interest,” whether it be that of the great
brewers and distillers, or of the petty vendors.’[69]

But scot-ales were by no means confined to the foresters. The evil
spread; the country was infested with them, and of this the language of
councils and synods throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
is ample evidence.

In these ecclesiastical prohibitions the word ‘scotallum’ is _scot-ale_
dog-latinised, a nut which many a foreign reader has failed to crack.

In the year 1220, Richard de Marisco, Bishop of Durham, decreed: ‘We
forbid announcements of scot-ales to be made by a priest or any one
else in the church. If priest or cleric do this, or take part in a
scot-ale, he will be punished canonically.’

In 1223, Richard, Bishop of Sarum, orders, ‘that no announcement of
scot-ales be made by laymen in the church, and neither in the churches
nor out of the churches by priests or by clergymen.’

In 1230, Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, writes to his
archdeacons: ‘We strictly command that you prohibit in your synods
and chapters those drinking assemblies which are commonly called
scot-ales; and every year, in every church of your archdeaconries,
this prohibition must be several times made known; and if any presume
to violate this prohibition, canonically made, you must admonish them
canonically, and proceed against them by ecclesiastical censures.’

In 1237, Alexander Stavenby, Bishop of Coventry, forbids under penalty
any priest to go to a tavern, or to keep a tavern or scot-ale.

In 1240, Walter of Cantilupe, Bishop of Worcester, decreed: ‘We forbid
the clergy to take part in those drinking parties called scot-ales,
or to keep taverns. They must also deter their flocks from them,
forbidding by God’s authority and ours the aforesaid scot-ales, and
other meetings for drinking.’

In 1255, Walter de Kirkham, Bishop of Durham, wrote: ‘We adjure all
priests, by Him who lives for ever, and all the ministers of the
Church, especially those in holy orders, that they be not drunkards,
nor keep taverns, lest they die an eternal death; moreover, we forbid
scot-ales and games in sacred places.’

In 1256, Giles of Bridport, Bishop of Salisbury, decreed: ‘We confirm
the prohibition of scot-ales, which has been made for the good both of
souls and bodies; and we command rectors, vicars, and other parochial
priests that, by frequent exhortations, they earnestly induce their
parishioners not rashly to violate the prohibition.’

For another century occasional decrees are issued upon the same
subject. One of the last admonitions respecting scot-ales is to be
found proceeding from the Synod of Ely in 1364.

It will have been observed how vigorous was the action of the Church in
the reign of Henry III. But all is not yet told. Archbishop Langton, in
his Constitutions, 1222, decrees (canon 30) that archdeacons, deans,
rural deans, and priests abstain from immoderate eating and drinking.
Again (canon 47), that neither monks nor canons regular spend time in
eating or drinking, save at the stated hours. They may by leave quench
their thirst in the refectory, but not indulge.

In the Constitutions of Archbishop Edmund, 1236, the sixth canon
forbids clergymen ‘the ill practice by which all that drink together
are obliged to equal draughts, and he carries away the credit who hath
made most drunk, and taken off the largest cups; therefore, we forbid
all forcing to drink.’

Bishop Grosseteste, to whom reference has lately been made, turned his
attention to the indirect as well as the direct occasions of excess.
He suppressed the May games in his diocese of Lincoln, from which date
the practices of the day have gradually changed. The nature of the
festivities may be guessed from the fact that the Maypole used to be
called _ale-stake_.[70]

The action of the civil power was still limited in its scope.
Regulation of tariff was among the most prominent of its efforts. Thus
in the fifty-first year of Henry III. (1266), it was enacted that when
a quarter of wheat is sold for 3_s._ or 3_s._ 4_d._, and a quarter of
barley for 1_s._ 8_d._, and a quarter of oats for 1_s._ 4_d._, then
brewers in cities ought and may well afford to sell two gallons of beer
or ale for a penny; and out of cities to sell three or four gallons for
a penny. These regulations are indicative that the manufacture of ale
had become of much consequence.

The quality of this drink was questionable. Matthew Paris describes it
as very weak.

Henry of Avranches, a Norman poet of the period, has some coarse banter
upon it. The lines as translated begin thus:--

    Of this strange drink, so like the Stygian lake,
    Men call it _ale_, I know not what to make.

The criticism of the barons of Snowdon on London ale counts for what it
is worth, for nothing satisfied them. Quartered at Islington, when they
accompanied Llewellyn to England, they could neither drink the wine
nor ale of London; neither mead nor Welsh ale could be obtained; the
English bread they refused to eat, and all London could not afford milk
enough for their daily requirement. Hard to please they clearly were;
nevertheless, their complaint of the ale was justifiable. It was made
indiscriminately of barley, wheat, and oats, sometimes of all combined.
Without the hop, the ale must have been insipid. To remove its mawkish
flatness, they flavoured it with spices and other ingredients,
especially long pepper.

Home-made cider was evidently in repute, since we find in this reign
of Henry III. a gentleman holding his manor in Norfolk on condition of
supplying the king, annually, at his exchequer, with two _mites_ of
wine, made of pearmains (a species of apple).

Again, before the close of this thirteenth century, Edward I. orders
the Sheriff of Southamptonshire to provide 400 quarters of wheat, and
to convey the same in good ships from Portsmouth to Winchelsea. Also to
put on board the said ships 200 tuns of cider.

Still, whatever were the merits of the home vineyards and breweries,
historians began to observe the growing fondness for foreign wines.
They accounted for it in various ways: the listlessness of the people,
home and foreign wars, crusades, and that ever-recurring cause of
new phenomena, ‘change of circumstances.’ So argues Twyne, a man,
according to history, of extraordinary knowledge in the antiquities of

A new custom of one penny for every tun, called _guage_, was levied on
all wines imported. From the duty collected between a given date in
1272 and 1273, at the ports of London, Portsmouth, Southampton, and
Sandwich, we find that there were imported 8,846 tuns, in addition to
the _prisa_ not liable to the new impost.

Vinous preparations of a fancy character were much in use. We read of
an order for the delivery of two tuns of white and one of red wine to
make garhiofilac and clarry for the king’s table at York. The names of
some of these preparations are painfully significant. Recipes are found
for making _Bishop_, _Cardinal_, _Pope_.

Whether in consequence of the royal statute upon ale, or for some
other reason, the first mention I can find of the _Crown_ as an inn
sign occurs in this reign. The tavern was in that part of Cheapside
called, after the inn, Crown Field. The king was evidently a moderate,
plain-living man; the only festivities that he seemed to care for being
those at Christmastide.

Inns, even at this time, were uncommon. In the time of Edward I. Lord
Berkeley’s farmhouses were used instead. Travellers would not only
inquire for hospitable persons, but even go to the king’s palaces for
refreshment. Knights were known to lodge in barns. But, though few
in number, they had already proved a nuisance. In the statutes for
the regulation of the city of London in the time of Edward I., it is
stated that ‘divers persons do resort unto the city:’ some who had
been banished, or who had fled from their own country, also foreigners
and others, many of them suspicious characters; and ‘of these, some do
become brokers, hostlers, and innkeepers, within the city, as freely
as though they were good and lawful men of the franchise of the city;
and some do nothing but run up and down through the streets, more by
night than by day, and are well attired in clothing and array, and
have their food of delicate meats and costly; neither do they use any
craft or merchandise; nor have they any lands or tenements whereof to
live, nor any friend to find them; and through such persons many perils
do often happen in the city.’ In addition to this, it was complained
that ‘offenders, going about by night, do commonly resort and have
their meetings, and evil talk in taverns more than elsewhere, and
there do seek for shelter, lying in wait and watching their time to do
mischief.’ To do away with this grievance, taverns were not allowed to
be opened for the sale of wine and ale after the tolling of the curfew.

In the first year of Edward I.’s reign was abolished the old impost
called _Prisage_, and in its place a duty imposed of 2_s._ on every tun
of wine imported. This tax afterwards obtained the name of _Butlerage_,
because it was paid to the king’s butler. It was abolished in 1311, in
consequence of a petition urged upon Edward II. for the redress of this
and many other grievances.

It was stated above that ale was made of various cereals. In 1302,
barley-malt was rated at 3_s._ 4_d._ per quarter, and from the
cheapness of wheat the brewers malted that grain also. The beer made
from barley was 3_d._ or 4_d._ a gallon, while that from wheat was
only 1½_d._, wheat being then only about 2_s._ the quarter.[72] This
caused a proclamation prohibiting the malting of wheat, lest it should
prevent the encouragement of its growth for bread, and give the
advantage to corn and other grain.

The Church made herself heard during the long reign of Edward I. in the
Constitutions of Archbishop Peckham, 1281, and in a synod at Exeter,
1287. In the former, immoderate love of the pleasures of the table,
both in eating and drinking, was condemned. In the latter, instructions
were issued against the keeping or frequenting of taverns by the
priesthood; and such instructions were doubtless needed. Nor did the
satirists spare the clergy. One of these, writing at the close of the
thirteenth century, thus exposes a new order to which is attached the
name of ‘Fair-Ease.’ Speaking of the particulars in which this new
order imitated other orders, he adds: ‘Of Beverly they have taken a
point, which shall be kept well and accurately; to drink well at their
meat, and then afterwards until supper; and afterwards at the collation
each must have a piece of candle as long as the arm below the elbow,
and as long as there shall remain a morsel of the candle to burn, the
brethren must continue their drinking.’ And again: ‘A point they have
taken from the Black Monks, that they love drinking, forsooth, and are
drunk every day, for they do not know any other way of living.... Also
it is provided that each brother drink before dinner and after;’ and
much more to the same effect.

At a visitation at St. Swithin’s Priory at Winchester, it appears that
the monks claimed to have, among other articles of luxury, ‘vinum
tam album quam rubeum, claretum, medonem, burgurastrum.’ This was in
the year 1285. In the following year a benefactor grants to the said
convent ‘unam pipam vini’ for their refection.[73]

Another satire on the corruptions in the Church, entitled ‘The Land of
Cockaigne,’ is assigned to the latter part of the thirteenth century.
The name signifies ‘kitchen-land.’ In this popular poem the land of
animal delights is painted as the happy land of monks who had turned
their backs upon the higher life to which they were devoted. A line or
two will give an idea.

    In Cokaygne is met and drink
    Without care, how, and swink.
    The met is trie, the drink is clere,
    To none, russin, and sopper.

Which Professor Morley interprets:--

    In Cockaigne is meat and drink
    Without care, trouble, and toil.
    The meat is choice, the drink is clear,
    At dinner, draught, and supper,

and explains _russin_ to be wine between meals, often condemned of old;
and connects with it the terms _rouse_ and _carouse_, which, says he,
denote emptying of the wine-cup, quoting, ‘The queen _carouses_ to thy
fortune, Hamlet.’ But the words are generally referred to _gar aus_,
all out. ‘Russin,’ in the eastern counties, still denotes drink at odd

The household roll of the Countess of Leicester, widow of Simon de
Montfort, reveals some secrets of the private life of the English
towards the end of this thirteenth century. Among the wines in use in
that family, _Gascon_ and _Bastard_ are prominent. Bastard was a sweet
Spanish wine, of which there were two sorts, white and brown. Little is
told in the roll of the price of wine. Nine shillings and twopence was
paid for twenty-two gallons.

We are able to get a comparative view of the prices of food at
this time from a list of articles supplied by his tenants when the
Archbishop of Canterbury visited his lands at Tarrings in Sussex,
about 1277. The prices seem very low.

                        _s._  _d._
    A bushel of wheat    0     2¼
    Carcass of beef      1     4
    Yearling hog         0     8
    4 gallons of beer    0     1
    2 good hens          0     1
    5 score eggs         0     1

The quantity of beer consumed in the household of the countess was
immense. On April 18, they brewed five quarters of barley and four
of oats; on the 25th of the same month they bought 188 gallons of
beer, and on the 29th brewed again. Cider is mentioned once, but was
not especially relished. One tun was distributed among 800 paupers.
Cordials were in demand.[74]

In the ‘Squire of Low Degree,’ probably of early fourteenth century
date, the King of Hungary offers to provide for his daughter wines from
all manners of countries--

    Ye shall have Rumney and Malmesyne,
    Both Hippocras and Vernage wine,
    Mount Rose and wine of Greke,
    Both Algrade and despice eke,
    Antioche and Bastarde,
    Pyment also and garnarde;
    Wine of Greek and Muscadell,
    Both claré, pyment, and Rochell,
    The reed your stomake to defye,
    And pottes of Osey sett you bye.[75]

The constant mention about this time of Hippocras (Ipocras, Ypocrasse)
demands some notice. It was a most favourite drink of the middle ages,
a compound of wine and aromatics. A curious recipe for it is given in
Pegge’s _Form of Cury_--‘Ypocrasse for lords with gynger, synamon, and
graynes, sugour, and turesoll; and for comyn pepull, gynger, canell,
longe peper, and claryffyed hony.’ Another recipe is found, much in
vogue at wedding festivals, ‘introduced at the commencement of the
banquet, served hot; of so comforting and generous a nature that the
stomach would be at once put into good temper.’ It was constantly
served with comfits; thus we find Elizabeth Woodville ordering up
‘green ginger, comfits, and ipocras.’ Katharine of Arragon gave ipocras
and comfits for the _voide_. In a satire upon Wolsey, entitled, ‘Why
come ye not to the Court?’ we find it in the company of sweetmeat--

    Welcome, dame Simonia,
    With dame Castimergia,
    To drynke and for to eate,
    Swete ipocras, and swete meate.

It is strange that Pepys should have thought it unintoxicating. Thus
October 9, 1663, he went to Guildhall, met there some friends; wine
was offered, ‘and they drunk, I only drinking some hypocras, which
do not break my vowe, it being, to the best of my present judgment,
only a mixed compound drink, and not any wine. If I am mistaken, God
forgive me! But I hope and do think I am not.’ It differed from clarry
(claré), wine mixed with _honey_ and spice. Hence Fournier mistakes in
thinking that hippocras was wine spiced ‘ou édulcoré avec le miel’ (_Le
Vieux-Neuf_, vol. ii.).

We hear very little of home vineyards at this time, and, but for
incidental allusions, it might be imagined that the foreign trade was a
monopoly. At the same time, such allusions as we have are convincing
that native wine was a rarity. Lambarde states that the Bishop of
Rochester sent to King Edward II. when he was at Bockingfield ‘a
present of his drinks, and withal both wines and grapes, _of his own
growth_, in his vineyard at Hallings.’

The days when bishops were identified with the contents of the cellar
are buried in the sepulchre of the long past, but we are now speaking
of a time when a bishop’s induction to his see was often a disgrace to
civilisation. It is incredible, remarks Godwin, in his notice of the
installation of Bishop Stapleton to the See of Exeter (1308), how many
oxen, tuns of ale and wine, are said to have been usually spent at this
kind of solemnity.

We have already mentioned that the duty on wine was taken off in the
year 1311. Four years later, a proclamation was issued prohibiting the
malting of wheat.[76] In 1317, merchants who were not of the freedom
of the city were forbidden to retail wines or other wares within its
precincts or suburbs. Thus much for the legislation of the reign.

The hospitality of the time must have been unbounded. Stowe gives a
curious instance, taken from the accounts of the Earl of Lancaster’s
steward for the year 1313. The items, which included 369 pipes of red
wine, amounted to 7,309_l._, which is more than 20,000_l._ of our
money, and, making the due allowance for the relative prices of food,
would represent something like 100,000_l._ sterling.

The terrible fate of Edward II. almost forbids harsh criticism of his
life. He was certainly fond of the pleasures of the table, and is said
to have given way to intemperance. Had not the banqueting-room been
oftener employed than the council-chamber, opportunities might not have
occurred for the rebellion of favourites, for which the festal board
was answerable.


[67] Briscoe: _Book of Nottinghamshire Anecdote_.

[68] _Piers Plowman_, fol. xxxii. _b_.

[69] _Discipline of Drink_, p. 181. For the overwhelming proof of his
allegations, see Dunlop’s _Artificial and Compulsory Drinking Usage_.

[70] Cf. Brady: _Clavis Calendaria_, vol. i. p. 320.

[71] _De Reb. Alb._, p. 116.

[72] Fleetwood, _Chronicon Preciosum_, p. 75.

[73] The details of the recluse life will be found in Bishop Poore’s
_Ancren Riewle_, or more readily in Fosbroke’s _Monachism_. See
also Cutt’s _Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages_; Tomline
and Rokewood, _Monastic and Social Life_; and S. P. Bay, _Monastic

[74] More information can be derived from the roll of ‘Household
expenses of the Bishop of Hereford,’ 1289-1290.

[75] See Ritson, _Metrical Romances_, vol. iii.

[76] Fleetwood (_Chronicon Preciosum_, 1707) states that ‘by the rains
in harvest the dearth was such that wheat came to 30_s._ and 40_s._ the
quarter. And good ale was at the gallon (per _lagenam_, from whence
our _flagon_) 2_d._, the better sort 3_d._, the best 4_d._ So that a
proclamation was fain to be issued out that a lagena of ale should be
sold at 1_d._, and that no wheat should be malted (_imbrasiatum_).’



For a picture of the social life of the remainder of the fourteenth
century, we turn of necessity to one who was the ornament of two of
the most brilliant courts in the annals of England, viz. those of
Edward III. and his successor, Richard II. We are for ever indebted to
him for exquisite pictures of genuine English life and character in
its infinite phases. And it may be here noticed, as bearing upon our
subject, that this

_Geoffrey Chaucer_

was the son of a wine merchant; that by circumstance and ability he won
for himself the patronage of Edward III.; that he was made controller
of the customs of wine and wool in the port of London, and had a
pitcher of wine daily from the royal table. Towards the close of the
century he is supposed to have retired to pass the calm evening of
his active life at Woodstock, where he is said to have composed his
immortal _Canterbury Tales_.

The prologue, whether written by Chaucer or not, states that he was
going to pass the night at the Tabarde Inn, in Southwark, previous
to setting out on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at
Canterbury. A number of pilgrims, twenty-nine _sundry folk_, meet at
this hostelry in good fellowship. There they sup together; after which
‘mine hoste’ proposes that they shall journey together to Canterbury;
that, in order to beguile the way, each shall tell a tale to and
fro, and whoever tells the best shall have a supper at the expense
of the rest; of course at his hostelry. The company assent. ‘Mine
hoste’ is appointed judge and reporter of the stories. The pilgrims,
or characters composing the social party, are, to all intents, an
inventory of English society as it existed at that day. We seem
actually to see the daily life of each reflected in the marvellous
mirror. Allusions to drink abound. Thus, in the prologue, he describes
a _Prioress_, and her delicacy of manners at table, as becomes a

    Hire overlippè wiped she so clene,
    That in hire cuppe was no ferthing sene
    Of gresè, whan she dronken hadde hire draught.

He describes the _Frankelein_ or country gentleman, who was ambitious
of showing his riches by the profusion of his table, but whose
hospitality often degenerated into excess.

    For he was Epicure’s owen sone,
    That held opinion, that plein delit
    Was veraily felicite parfite.

    An householder, and that a grete was he;
    Seint Julian he was in his contree.
    His brede, his ale, was alway after on;
    A better envyned man was no wher non.
           *       *       *       *       *
    It snewed in his hous of mete and drinke.

London ale must have been then in repute, for among the
accomplishments of one of the party who was less a pilgrim than a cook,
it is noted:--

    Well coude he knowe a draught of London ale.

Thomas Tyrwhitt, in a note on this line, remarks, ‘Whether this was a
different sort of ale from that of the provinces, or only better made,
I know not; but it appears to have been in request about a century
after Chaucer. In the account of the feast of Archbishop Warham, in
1504, we find that London ale was higher priced than Kentish by 5_s._ a

The true British sailor of Chaucer’s time exhibited nearly the same
strong traits as our own brave tars. That his conscience was not too
finely drawn appears in his conduct at Bordeaux, where he drew full
many a draught of wine while the chapman slept:--

    The hote sommer hadde made his hewe al broun,
    And certainly he was a good felaw.
    Full many a draught of win he hadde draw
    From Burdeux ward, while that the chapman slepe;
    Of nice conscience toke he no kepe.

The description of the Sompnour, or Ecclesiastical Apparitor, is not an
inviting one. Church officials _temp._ Chaucer were not all they might
have been.

    A sompnour was ther with us in that place,                   625
    That hadde a fire-red cherubinnés face,
    For sausefleme he was, with eyen narwe;
    As hote he was, and likerous as a sparwe,
    With scalled browes blake, and pilled berd:
    Of his visage children were sore aferd.                      630
           *       *       *       *       *
    Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes,                     636
    And for to drinke strong win as rede as blood.
    Than wolde he speke, and crie as he were wood.
    And whan that he wel dronken had the win,
    Than wold he speken no word but Latin.                       640
    A fewe termes coude he, two or three,
    That he had lerned out of som decree;
    No wonder is, he herd it all the day.
    And eke ye knowen wel, how that a jay
    Can clepen watte, as wel as can the pope.                    645
    But who so wolde in other thing him grope,
    Than hadde he spent all his philosophie,
    Ay, _Quæstio quid juris_, wolde he crie.                     648

Among others of the Sompnour’s iniquities which the poet lashes was
his sale of silence. He would countenance the worst deviation from
rectitude for a quart of wine. Quotation is withheld.

Before the pilgrims started from the Tabarde Inn, they had well drunk,
as appears from Prologue, lines 749-752.

    Gret chere made oure hoste us everich on,
    And to the souper sette he us anon:
    And served us with vitaille of the beste;
    Strong was the win, and wel to drinke us leste.

Nor was this all. After some conversation with mine host, and certain
suggestions made by him as to their behaviour on the way, we read in
Prologue, lines 819-823:--

                Thus by on assent
    We ben accorded to his jugement,
    And therupon the win was fette anon.
    We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
    Withouten any lenger tarying.

It was just as well they did.

Pass we on to the _Canterbury Tales_ themselves. There is nothing in
the Knighte’s Tale, as indeed we should have expected nothing from this
‘veray parfit gentil knight,’ apropos of our subject. But directly
the Knighte’s Tale was ended, and mine host had requested the Monk to
follow suit, the Miller strikes in, and insists on telling his tale, a
very improper one indeed. This is the description of the drunken miller
and his conduct--

          The Miller that for-dronken was all pale,         3123
    So that unethes upon his hors he sat,
    He n’old avalen neither hood ne hat,                    3125
    Ne abiden no man for his curtesie,
    But in Pilates vois he gan to crie,
    And swore by armes, and by blood, and bones,
    I can a noble tale for the nones,
    With which I wol now quite the knightes tale.           3130
          Our Hoste saw that he was dronken of ale,
    And sayd; abide, Robin, my leve brother,
    Som better man shall tell us first another:
    Abide, and let us werken thriftily.
          By Goddes soule (quod he) that wol not I,         3135
    For I wol speke, or elles go my way.
          Our Hoste answerd; Tell on a devil way;
    Thou art a fool; thy wit is overcome.
          Now herkeneth, quod the Miller, all and some:
    But first I make a protestatioun,                       3140
    That I am dronke, I know it by my soun;
    And therefore if that I misspeke or say,
    Wite it the ale of Southwerk, I you pray.               3143

There is nothing very specially to the point in the Millere’s Tale,
but one or two facts show the universal part that drink played in the
period. Thus when Absalom, the parish clerk, wishes to ingratiate
himself with Alison, the carpenter’s wife,

    He sent hire pinnes, methe, and spiced ale,
    And wafres piping hot out of the glede:
    And for she was of toun, he profered mede.
                                                 Lines 3378-3380.

or can the carpenter and his lodger carry on a conversation without
the introduction of ‘a large quart of mighty ale’ (line 3497).

The Reve’s Tale, which is probably founded upon a similar story in the
_Decameron_ of Boccaccio, largely turns upon drink--_e.g._, two Cantabs
are going to sup and sleep at the miller’s:--

    The miller the toun his doughter send                   4134
    For ale and bred, and roasted hem a goos,               4135
           *       *       *       *       *
    They soupen, and they speken of solace,                 4144
    And drinken ever strong ale at the best.                4145
    Abouten midnight wente they to rest.

But not, as we are told in a later verse, till ‘that dronken was all
in the crouke,’ by which time all of the party had had too much. Their
condition is described:--

    Wel hath this miller vernished his hed,
    Ful pale he was, for-dronken, and nought red.
    He yoxeth, and he speketh thurgh the nose,
    As he were on the quakke, or on the pose.               4150
    To bed he goth, and with him goth his wif;
    As any jay she light was and jolif,
    So was hire joly whistle wel ywette.                    4153
           *       *       *       *       *
    This miller hath so wisly bibbed ale,                   4160
    That as an hors he snorteth in his slepe.

In the Man of Lawes Tale we have the account of a messager being so
drunk that, ‘while he slept as a swine,’ his letters were stolen from
him by the king’s mother, and changed to spite her daughter-in-law. His
orgies are thus described:--

    This messager drank sadly ale and wine,                 5163
           *       *       *       *       *
    He dranke, and wel his girdel underfight.               5209

Our poet thus apostrophises the sorry fellow:--

    O messager, fulfilled of dronkenesse,                   5191
    Strong is thy breth, thy limmes faltren ay,
    And thou bewreiest alle secrenesse;
    Thy mind is lorne, thou janglest as a jay;
    Thy face is tourned in a new array;                     5195
    Ther dronkenesse regneth in any route,
    Ther is no conseil hid withouten doute.                 5197

A virtuous mediæval commentator has written in the margin of a MS.
copy of Chaucer in the Cambridge Library the following excellent Latin

_O messager._ ‘Quid turpius ebrioso, cui fœtor in ore, tremor in
corpore; qui promit stulta, prodit occulta; cui mens alienatur, facies
transformatur; nullum enim latet secretum ubi regnat ebrietas.’

_Query_--Are these words merely the commentator’s effusion and outcome,
or are they a quotation from some Latin writer? If the latter, they
would probably have been the basis of Chaucer’s lines here. They say a
good deal in a few words.

The ‘Wif of Bathe’ is one of Chaucer’s equivocal characters. Her
remarks are usually incisive. Her attainments, upon her own confession,
were mainly dependent on the brimming cup; as in the lines--

    Tho coude I dancen to an harpe smale,
    And sing ywis as any nightingale,
    When I had dronke a draught of swete wine.

The same impression is produced in the engravings of the lady in
Knight’s _Old England_. Chaucer continues:--

    Metellius, the foule cherle, the swine,
    That with a staf beraft his wif hire lif,
    For she drank wine, though I had been his wif,
    Ne shuld he not have daunted me fro drinke.

The story about Metellius beating his wife for drinking is told by
Pliny (_Nat. Hist._ xiv. 13) of one Mecenius, but Chaucer probably
followed Valerius Maximus (vi. 3).

A little further on is a line full of truth--

    In woman vinolent is no defence,

which may have been suggested by the couplet in _Romaunt de la Rose_:--

    Car puisque femme est enyvrée
    Et n’a point en soy de deffence.

The Sompnour, or, in other words, the summoner (so called from
delivering the summonses of the archdeacons), vows vengeance on
the Frere (friar) for telling a tale so palpably levelled at his
profession, and, giving him a Roland for his Oliver, thus describes the
Frere of the period:--

    Fie on hir pompe, and on hir glotonie,
    And on hir lewednesse; I hem defie.                     7510
    Me thinketh they ben like Jovinian,
    Fat as a whale, and walken as a swan
    Al vinolent as botel in the spence;
    Hir praier is of ful gret reverence;
    Whan they for soules say the Psalm of Davit,            7515
    Lo, buf they say, _cor meum eructavit_.

Tyrwhitt informs us that Jovinian was ‘perhaps the supposed emperour
of that name in the _Gesta Romanorum_, c. lix., whose story was worked
up into a _Morality_, under the title of “_L’orgueil et présomption de
l’Empereur Jovinien_--à 19 Personages.”’

The following lines, still from the Sompnour’s Tale, are not Chaucer’s
own, but a quotation or paraphrase from Seneca:--

    A lord is lost if he be vicious                         7630
    And dronkennesse is eke a foule record
    Of any man, and namely of a lord.                       7632
           *       *       *       *       *
    For goddes love drinke more attemprely.                 7635
    Win maketh man to lesen wretchedly
    His mind, and eke his limmes everich on.                7637

The Marchante’s Tale abounds with allusions. Wine played no unimportant
part at the marriage of January and May. It was not spared at the
wedding. As we read in line 9596:

    Bacchus the win hem skinketh al aboute.

The aged bridegroom primed himself by its aid--

    He drinketh Ipocras, clarré, and vernage
    Of spices hot, to encresen his corage.
                                                Lines 9681, 9682.

And in the morning when ‘that the day gan dawe,’ we read that ‘then he
taketh a sop in fine clarré’--line 9717.

All this, no doubt, is drawn from the marriage customs of Chaucer’s

In these times of luxury and excess what an example does the ‘poure
widewe’ furnish in the Nonnes Prestes Tale. Truly idyllic!--

    Full sooty was hire boure, and eke hire halle,
    In which she ete many a slender mele.
    Of poinant sauce ne knew she never a dele.
    No deintee morsel passed thurgh hire throte;
    Hire diete was accordant to hire cote.
    Repletion ne made hire never sike;
    Attempre diete was all hire physike,
    And exercise, and hertes suffisance.
    The goute let hire nothing for to dance,
    No apoplexie shente not hire hed.
    No win ne dranke she, neyther white ne red:
    Hire bord was served most with white and black,
    Milk and broun bred, in which she fond no lack,
    Seinde bacon, and somtime an ey or twey;
    For she was as it were a maner dey.

Could she have divined that one day Professor Mayor would give to the
world ‘Modicus cibi medicussibi’?

In the Manciple’s Prologue we find the following lines. The Manciple is
chaffing the ‘coke’ for having had too much to drink. _Inter alia_, he
remarks, lines 16993, 16994:--

    I trow that ye have dronken win of ape,
    And that is whan men playen with a straw.

These are worth quoting for the sake of Tyrwhitt’s note on 16993.
‘_Wine of ape_,’ he says, ‘I understood to mean the same as _vin
de singe_ in the old _Calendrier des Bergiers_. Sign 1. ii. b. The
author is treating of physiognomy, and in his description of the four
temperaments he mentions, among other circumstances, the different
effects of wine upon them. The choleric, he says, _a vin de Lyon;
cest a dire, quant a bien beu veult tanser, noyser et battre_. The
sanguine _a vin de singe; quant a plus beu tant est plus joyeux_. In
the same manner the phlegmatic is said to have _vin de mouton_, and the
melancholick _vin de porceau_.’

In the Manciple’s Prologue, lines 17043 to 17050, we have the following
praise of wine as a reconciler:--

    Then gan our hoste to laughen wonder loude,
    And sayd: I see wel it is necessary
    Wher that we gon good drinke with us to cary;
    For that wol turnen rancour and disese
    To accord and love, and many a wrong apese.
      O Bacchus, Bacchus, blessed be thy name,
    That so canst turnen ernest into game:
    Worship and thonke be to thy deitee.

If _Laudibus arguitur vini vinosus Homerus_ be a true rule, we might
say that Chaucer liked his glass.

In the Persones Tale, under heading _De Gulâ_, we read, ‘After avarice
cometh glotonie, which is expresse agenst the commandement of God.
Glotonie is unmesurable appetit to ete or to drinke.... This sinne hath
many spices. The first is dronkennesse, that is the horrible sepulture
of manne’s reson: and this is dedly sinne.’

The Rime of Sire Thopas is tantalising. It breaks off just as we are
assured that Sire Thopas

    Himself drank water of the well,
    As did the knight Sire Percivell
      So worthy under wede,
    Till on a day----

_Hiatus valde deflendus!_ Yet we find with strange inconsistency in
lines 13801-13803--

    And ther he swore on ale and bred
    How that the geaunt should be ded,
      Betide what so betide.

Lines 13693, 13694 show the early use of the nutmeg with liquor--

    And notemuge to put in ale,
    Whether it be moist or stale:

as in the old song--

    What gave thee that jolly red nose?
    Nutmegs and cloves.

This ample history of manners from one of our greatest poets scarcely
needs to be supplemented. Indeed, little can be added even from that
withering satire of Robert Longlande, entitled the _Vision of Pierce
Plowman_, who, lashing everybody, did not spare the corruptions of
the Church. To this _vision_ has been commonly annexed a poem, called
‘Pierce the Plowman’s Crede,’ a satire on the Mendicant Friars. These
last had sprung up in the preceding century. They were, indeed, a
necessity of the time, so far had the monastic orders degenerated from
their primitive simplicity, so wholly were they abandoned to luxury
and indolence. In the following lines of the ‘Crede’ a Franciscan is
defending his order:--

    Of al men upon mold we Minorites most sheweth
    The pure Aposteles lif, with penance on erthe,
    And suen [follow] hem in sanctite, and sufferen wel harde.
    We haunten not tavernes, ne hobelen abonten
    At marketes and miracles we medeley us never.

The Early English Text Society has done good service in publishing one
of the many mediæval handbooks of the same kind, called _Instructions
for Parish Priests_. The book is by John Myrk, a canon regular of St.
Austin. Amongst these instructions the priest is bidden to eschew
drunkenness, gluttony, pride, sloth, and envy. He must keep from
taverns, trading, wrestling, shooting, hunting, hawking, and dancing.
Dr. Cutts infers from Chaucer’s description of the poor parson of a
town, that these instructions were not thrown away upon the mediæval
parish priests.

The legislation of the fourteenth century, so far as it concerns our
subject, was of an in-and-out character. It enacted and repealed,
repealed and enacted. In 1330 it was ordained: ‘Because there are more
taverners in the realm than were wont to be, selling as well corrupt
wines as wholesome, and have sold the gallon at such price as they
themselves would, because there was no punishment ordained for them,
as hath been for them that sell bread and ale, to the great hurt of
the people,’ that wine must be sold at reasonable prices, and that the
wines should be tested twice a year--at Easter and Michaelmas, oftener
if needful--and corrupt wines poured out, and the vessels broken.

In 1338 wine was taxed, on a great emergency. Edward III. wanted a
vast sum to pay the subsidies which he had granted to his foreign
allies. The great men granted him a moiety of their wool, which sold
for 400,000_l._; besides a duty of 2_s._ a tun upon wine, added to the
usual customs paid by all foreign merchants.

The preamble of the Act of 1365 deserves special attention:--‘The King
wills of his grace and sufferance that all merchant denizens that be
not artificers, shall pass into Gascoign to fetch wines thence, to the
end and intent that by this general licence greater liberty may come,
and greater market may be of wines within the realm; and that the
Gascoigns and other aliens may come into the realm with their wines,
and freely sell them without any disturbance or impeachment.’

By the 42nd Edward III., c. 8, rigour was again imposed, and wines
forbidden to be brought into England save by Gascons and other aliens.
In the next year the previous Act was renewed at the request of his son
the Prince, who found the subsidies and customs of wines diminished in
his principality of Aquitaine, by reason of the falling off of the wine
trade with England. A revival of the trade ensued. Froissart states
that in 1372 a fleet arrived at Bordeaux from England of not less than
two hundred sail of merchantmen in quest of wines.

In 1378 foreigners were allowed to sell wine in gross but not in retail.

The same contradictions manifest themselves in the Acts of Richard
II.’s reign as in those of his predecessor; _e.g._--

In 1381 no sweet wines or claret could be sold retail. In the following
year the price of foreign wines was again regulated. It was enacted
that the best wines of Gascony, Osey, and Spain, and Rhenish wines
should be sold for 100 shillings, and the best Rochelle wines at 6
marks the tun; and by retail, the former at 6_d._, the latter at 4_d._,
a gallon. Marvellous to relate, Holinshed states that, before the close
of the reign, so abundant was the article that it was sold at the
maximum price of 20_s._ a tun.

In 1387, it was enacted that no wine be carried _out_ of the realm.

It is curious to observe how our sumptuary laws recognised certain
seasons, and exempted them from their operation. Christmas, for
example, had not only been set apart for sacred observance, but had
become a time of feasting and revelry. When Edward III., in his tenth
year, tried to restrain his subjects from over luxury, exception was
made in the case of the great feasts of the year--‘La veile et le jour
de Noel, le jour de Saint Estiephne, le jour de l’an renoef [New Year’s
Day], les jours de la Tiphaynei et de la Purification de Notre Dame.’

We have already found that attention was drawn to taverns in the time
of Edward I. In the reign of Edward III. only three taverns were
allowed in the metropolis. Publicans were already compelled by law to
put up a sign. Thus, in 1393, Florence North, a Chelsea brewer, was
‘presented’ for not putting up the usual sign. The penalty was the
forfeiture of their ale. With other trades it was optional. Conversely,
the taking away of a publican’s licence was accompanied by the removal
of his sign--

    For this gross fault I here do damn thy licence,
    Forbidding thee ever to tap or draw;
    For instantly I will in mine own person
    Command the constables to pull down thy sign.[77]

By the gradual institution of _inns_, where travellers could obtain
food and lodging, the old methods of hospitality began to pass away.
‘The convenient chamber for guests,’ which we find in the inventories
of a country parson’s house in the middle ages, was becoming a relic of
the past. This, and the more public _hospitium_, or guest-house, within
the walls of the monasteries, had for ages furnished the shelter and
provender which could only thus be gotten.

In the time of Richard II. the Little Park at Windsor was used as a
vineyard for home consumption. Thus Stowe (_Chronicle_, p. 143) says
that among the archives of the Court of Pleas of the Forest and Honours
at Windsor, is to be seen the ‘yearly account of the charges of the
planting of the vines that in the time of Richard II. grew in great
plenty within the Little Park, as also the making of the wine itself,
whereof some part was spent in the king’s house, and some part sold to
his profit, the tithes whereof were paid to the Abbot of Waltham.’

But the inutility of home vineyards is demonstrated from the cheapness
of foreign wines at this time. In 1342 the price of Gascon wines in
London was 4_d._, and that of Rhenish, 6_d._ per gallon; and in 1389,
foreign wine was only 20_s._ per tun for the best, and 13_s._ 4_d._ for
the second--that is, about three halfpence a dozen.

But to turn to the king himself. The pageant, or royal entertainment,
on the accession of Richard II. is described by the chronicler
Walsingham. The city was most richly adorned, and the conduits ran
with wine for three hours. In the upper end of the Cheap was erected
a castle with four towers, on two sides of which ran forth wine
abundantly. In the towers were placed four beautiful girls dressed
in white, who, on the king’s approach, blew in his face leaves of
gold, and filling cups of gold with wine at the spouts of the castle,
presented them to the king and his nobles.

The citizens had signified their joy in much the same way before, when
Edward I. returned from the Holy Land. Maitland, in his _London_,
seems to have regarded with wonder the fact that the very conduits
in the streets through which the cavalcade passed ran with wine; but
it happened before, and happened very often afterwards. Mr. Morewood
(_Hist. Ineb. Liq._) fell into the same error, and exclaims, ‘To this
extravagance there are few parallels, except that of Polemkin, when he
gave a magnificent feast to the Empress Catherine, at his palace in the
Taurida, when the conservatory fountains were filled with champagne and
claret, and served to the company by means of silver pumps applied to
those reservoirs.’

The king was young when he came to the throne, extravagant, and fond of
luxury. His Christmases seem to have been kept with especial splendour,
and this to the very close of his unfortunate reign. In 1399 there was
a royal Christmas at Westminster, when the consumption was prodigious.
In the previous Christmas, at Lichfield, where the pope’s nuncio and
other foreigners were present, they got rid of two hundred tuns of wine
and two thousand oxen. But the king had a profligate set about him--De
la Pole, De Vere, &c.; while he was grossly misled by the advice of
Robert Tresylian, his Chief Justice of the King’s Bench; and no better
epitome of the king’s ill star can be given than a stanza from the
tragedy of _The Fall of Robert Tresylian_ (1388):

    Thus the king, outleaping the limits of his law,
    Not reigning but raging, as youth did him entice,
    Wise and worthy persons from court did daily draw,
    Sage counsel set at nought, proud vaunters were in price,
    And roisters bear the rule, which wasted all in vice:
    Of riot and excess grew scarcity and lack,
    Of lacking came taxing, and so went wealth to rack.

Henry IV. came to the throne in 1399. A pageant of the kind already
mentioned was held. Froissart notices that there were seven fountains
in Cheapside, and other streets he passed through, which perpetually
ran with white and red wines. Profusion reigned supreme in high
quarters; among the articles which furnished the breakfast table of
the nobility were--for a gentleman and his lady, in Lent, a quart of
beer and the same quantity of wine. And a gallon of beer and a quart of
wine at their _liveries_, a repast taken in their bedrooms immediately
before going to roost.

In looking through bills of entertainments at this period, one cannot
help observing the contrast between the relative costs of the meats and
drinks then and now. Then, the wine, ale, &c., were about one third of
the entire cost, now the drink is oftener much the heavier item. This
would be misleading, did we not take into consideration how much strong
drink is made to yield to the revenue. The relative price of meats and
drinks at that time wholly differ from the present relation. But wine
was gradually becoming a dearer commodity. Malmsey in the reign of
Henry IV. used to fetch the average price of 280 gallons for 5_l._ That
sum would scarcely have bought half the amount in the reign of Richard

The dissipated life led by the youth of the time appears in the
reminiscences of the poet Occleve of his own conduct. If youth needs
a warning against folly, he can do little better than study _La male
regie de T. Hoccleve_, or _Occleve’s Misrule_. The tavern sign was to
him an irresistible temptation. Westminster Gate was then noted for its
taverns and cook-shops, at which the lavishness of Occleve made him a
welcome guest. To this he alludes--

    Wher was a greater maister eek than Y,
    Or bet acqweynted at Westmynster Gate,
    Among the taverners namely (especially)
    And cookes? Whan I cam, eerly or late,
    I pynchid nat at hem in mine acate (purchase of provisions),
    But paied hem as they axe wolde;
    Wherfore I was the welcomer algate (always),
    And for a verray gentilman yholde (regarded).

And again--

    The outward sign of Bacchus and his lure
    That at his doore hangeth day by day,
    Exciteth folks to taste of his moisture
    So often that men cannot well say nay.

    Of him that haunteth tavern of custume,
    In shorte wordes the profit is this,
    In double wise: His bag it shall consume,
    And make his tonge speak of folk amis;
    For in the cuppe seldom founden is
    That any wight his neighbour commendeth.
    Behold and see what avantage is his
    That God, his friend, and eke himself offendeth
           *       *       *       *       *
    Now let this smart warninge to thee be,
    And if thou mayst hereafter be relieved
    Of body and pursé, so thou guidé thee
    By wit that thou no moré thus be grieved.
    What riot is, thou tasted hast and preeved.
    The fire, men sayn, he dreadeth that is brent;
    And if thou so do, thou art well y--meeved (moved),
    Be now no longer fool, by mine assent.

Notwithstanding the arguments adduced by a modern historian to the
contrary, the weight of evidence is overwhelming that the early life
of Henry V. was a course of dissipation. His active spirit (in the
language of Hume) broke out in extravagances of every kind; and the
riot of pleasure, the frolic of debauchery, the outrage of the wine,
filled the vacancies of a mind better adapted to the pursuits of
ambition and the cares of government. Shakespeare puts into the mouth
of Henry IV. the reflection upon his son--

    Whilst I ...
    See riot and dishonor stain the brow
    Of my young Harry.

The abandoned Falstaff looked at the matter from another point of view,
of course. He is represented as saying, ‘Hereof comes it, that Prince
Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his
father, he hath, like lean, steril, and bare land, manured, husbanded,
and tilled with excellent endeavor of drinking good, and good store
of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had
a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them should
be, to forswear their potations, and addict themselves to sack.’ Yet
even Falstaff could tell the truth sometimes, for in the early part of
the same sentence, amidst a hurricane of rubbish, he tells that wine
makes the blood ‘course from the inwards to the parts extreme.’ One
fancies one is reading Dr. B. W. Richardson as he tells, ‘wine propels
the blood violently _from the heart_ to the extremities.’ But Henry
V. found place for repentance. His life as king was widely different
from his life as prince. Among his troops at Agincourt drunkenness was
counted a disgrace. So impressed was he with the bane of it, that he
would gladly have cut down all the vines in France.

In the _Liber Albus_, compiled in this reign by John Carpenter, common
clerk, and Richard Whittington, mayor, appears in full the oath of the
_ale-conners_. These were officers appointed to look after the quality
of ale, beer, and bread, to whom allusion is made in the _Cobler of

    A nose he had that gan show
    What liquor he loved I trow;
    For he had before long seven yeare,
    Beene of the towne the _ale-conner_.

The following is the oath--

    You shall swear, that you shall know of no brewer or brewster,
    cook, or pie-baker, in your ward, who sells the gallon of best ale
    for more than one penny halfpenny, or the gallon of second for more
    than one penny, or otherwise than by measure sealed and full of
    clear ale; or who brews less than he used to do before this cry, by
    reason hereof, or withdraws himself from following his trade the
    rather by reason of this cry; or if any persons shall do contrary
    to any one of these points, you shall certify the Alderman of your
    ward [thereof] and of their names. And that you, so soon as you
    shall be required to taste any ale of a brewer or brewster, shall
    be ready to do the same; and in case that it be less good than it
    used to be before this cry, you, by assent of your Alderman, shall
    set a reasonable price thereon, according to your discretion; and
    if any one shall afterwards sell the same above the said price,
    unto your said Alderman you shall certify the same. And that for
    gift, promise, knowledge, hate, or other cause whatsoever, no
    brewer, brewster, huckster, cook, or pie-baker, who acts against
    any one of the points aforesaid, you shall conceal, spare, or
    tortuously aggrieve; nor when you are required to taste ale, shall
    absent yourself without reasonable cause and true; but all things
    which unto your office pertain to do, you shall well and lawfully
    do.--So God you help, and the saints.

So it is to be feared that there were some black sheep in the trade
then, as now. Others certainly not so, for in this same fifteenth
century we find that a licence was granted to John Calcot, landlord of
the ‘Chequers,’ a tavern in Calcot’s Alley, Lambeth, to have an oratory
in the house, and a chaplain for the use of his family and guests, so
long as the house should continue orderly and respectable, and _adapted
to the celebration of Divine service_.[78]

The jurisdiction of the ale-conners extended to offences of omission as
well as commission. Thus we find them presenting one Thomas Cokesale,
for refusing to sell ale to his neighbours while he had some on sale,
and even while the sign (the ale-stake) was out. He was fined 4_d._

On the other hand, in 1461, one Lentroppe was presented for having,
contrary to the order, brewed three times under one display of the
sign or ale-stake. For this he had to pay 6_d._ The man offended by
brewing three times, and only making one signal of brewing. This, if
he had not been detected, would have enabled him to sell two brewings
without the liquor having been tasted by the proper officers, and the
public might have had ale sold to them ‘not sufficiently mighty of the
corn, or wholesome for man’s body.’[79] Another local law, mentioned in
Scrope’s _History of Castle Combe_, was that no one was to brew in 1461
at the same time as the Churchwardens were brewing the church-ale for
the profit of the church, under pain of 13_s._ 4_d._; nor to brew or
sell till all the ale brewed for the church was entirely sold. This was
brewed for the benefit of the common fund for the _relief_ of the poor
in 1590. We pause here to consider the institution known as a


of which _Easter-ales_ and _Whitsun-ales_ are simply species. And
first, their origin. The idea is without any doubt taken from the
_Agapæ_, or Love Feasts, so famous in the early Church. Many of the
features of these feasts were revived in the _wakes_ of the middle
ages, of which such was the popularity that the officers of parishes
conceived that some things novel in name and character, but preserving
the elements which made the wakes so popular, would answer the purpose
and promote the objects they had in view.

There is an old pre-Reformation indenture in Dodsworth’s MSS.,
which not only shows the design of the church-ale, but explains the
particular use and application of the word _ale_. The parishioners of
Elveston and Okebrook in Derbyshire agree jointly ‘to brew four ales,
and every ale of one quarter of malt, betwixt this and the feast of
St. John Baptist next coming. And that every inhabitant of the said
town of Okebrook shall be at the several ales. And every husband and
his wife shall pay two pence, every cottager one penny, and all the
inhabitants of Elveston shall have and receive all the profits and
advantages coming of the said ales, to the use and behoof of the said
church of Elveston, and the inhabitants of Elveston shall brew eight
ales between this and the feast of St. John Baptist, at the which ales
the inhabitants of Okebrook shall come and pay as before rehersed, and
if he be away at one ale to pay at the other ale for both.’[80]

Before the Reformation there were no poor rates. In their place
were the charitable dole given at the religious houses, voluntary
assessments towards church repairs, and the church-ale. The latter fell
in best with the humour of the people; for a time it was tolerated
because probably innocent, and in it a ready method was discovered for
maintaining the fabric of the church, and furnishing its necessary
ornaments. Stubbs, in his _Anatomie of Abuses_ (1585), thus describes

    In certaine townes where dronken Bacchus beares swaie, against
    Christmas and Easter, Whitsondaie or some other tyme, the
    churchwardens of every parishe, with the consent of the whole
    parishe, provide halfe a score, or twentie quarters of mault,
    whereof some they buy of the churche stocke, and some is given them
    of the parishioners themselves, every one conferring somewhat,
    according to his abilitie; whiche maulte being made into very
    strong ale or bere, is sette to sale, either in the churche or
    some other place assigned to that purpose. Then when this is set
    abroche, well is he that can gete the soonest to it, and spend the
    most at it. In this kinde of practice they continue sixe weekes,
    a quarter of a yeare, yea, halfe a yeare together. That money,
    they say, is to repaire their churches and chappels with, to buy
    bookes for service, cuppes for the celebration of the sacrament,
    surplesses for Sir John, and such other necessaries, and they
    maintaine other extraordinarie charges in their parish besides.

That these ales were eminently productive, the churchwardens’ accounts
of many parishes attest. Thus in Kingston-upon-Thames, the proceeds of
the church-ale in 1526 are entered as 7_l._ 15_s._, not much short of
100_l._ as money goes now.

We find them satirised in _Pierce Plowman_ thus:--

    I am occupied everie daye, holye daye, and other,
    With idle tales at the ale, and other while in churches.

_In churches._ Though they were not usually, if ever, held there,
but in a place called the _church-house_. Thus Carew (_Survey of
Cornwall_) says: ‘Whitsontide, upon which holidays the neighbours meet
at the church-house, and there merily feed on their owne victuals,
contributing some petty portion to the stock, which, by many smells,
growth to a meetly greatness.’

In process of time of course they degenerated. The pulpits of the
sixteenth century freely denounced them. A typical sermon on the abuses
of the day is that of William Kethe, preached at Blandford in 1570, at
which time ales must have been kept in his neighbourhood on Sunday,
‘which holy day the multitude call their revelyng day, which day is
spent in bul-beatings, beare-beatings, bowlings, dicyng, cardyng,
daunsynges, drunkenness, and whoredome.’ And when we remember that it
is recorded of an old song, that

    It hath been sung at festivals,
    On ember eves and _holy ales_,

we shall the better appreciate the nature of the fall. ‘Desinit in
piscem mulier formosa supernè.’

Efforts were made in this reign of Henry VI. for the better observance
of Sunday; and, here and there, there are indications that efforts were
made locally to bring about ‘Sunday closing.’ Mr. Bridgett has adduced
a few examples. In 1428 the corporation of Hull made an order for
the observance of the Sunday. No market was to be kept, under penalty
of 6_s._ 8_d._ for sellers, and 3_s._ 4_d._ for buyers; no butchers
were to expose meat for sale, nor cooks to dress or sell except to
strangers, and to them only before seven o’clock; no tradesmen to
keep shops open; no vintners nor ale-house keepers to deliver or sell
ale, under the same penalties. London made an attempt to suppress
Sunday trading, but it was ineffectual. In the year 1444 ‘an Act was
made, by authority of the Common Council of London, that upon the
Sunday should no manner of thing, within the franchise of the city, be
bought or sold, neither victual nor other things; nor none artificer
should bring his ware to any man to be worn or occupied that day, as
tailor’s garments or cordwainer’s shoes; and so likewise of all other
occupations; the which ordinance held but a while.’

There was very little legislation upon these matters in Henry VI.’s
reign. The planting of _hops_ was prohibited. They were used by the
brewers in the Netherlands early in the fourteenth century; and the use
of them in beer was brought into England from Artois. But there will
be more occasion to speak of them later on, when we shall find that
privileges were granted to _hop-grounds_. In this reign the Brewery
Company was incorporated, and we can readily believe that its brew was
duly appreciated by John Lydgate, the monk of Bury.

Beer had risen immensely in price from the thirteenth to the fifteenth
century. When the Archbishop of Canterbury visited his land at Tarring,
in Sussex, in 1277, four gallons of the best beer were to be charged
only 1_d._; whereas a tariff of 1464 shows an extraordinary advance.

    Best beer, per gallon  2_d._
    Second ”       ”       1_d._
    Third  ”       ”       0½_d._

A century later it had again risen fifty per cent.

In the archives of Ely Cathedral we have the following account of the
produce of a vineyard:--

                                              £  _s._ _d._
    Exitus vineti                             2   15   3½
    Exitus vineæ                             10   12   2½
    Ten bushels of grapes from the vineyard   0    7   6
    Seven dolia musti from the vineyard 12th
      Edward II.                             15    1   0
    Wine sold for                             1   12   0
    Verjuice                                  1    7   0
    For wine out of this vineyard             1    2   2
    For verjuice from thence                  0   16   0
    No wine but verjuice made 9th Edward IV.[81]

In an ordinance for the household of George, Duke of Clarence (Dec. 9,
1469), the sum of 20_l._ is allowed for the purveying of ‘Malvesie,
Romenay, Osey, Bastard, Muscadelle, and other sweete wynes.’ This
Romenay or Rumney has nothing to do with Rome or the Romagna, but was
probably made from Greek vines, as Henderson suggests, derived from
Rum-ili, a name given by the Saracens to Greece. The _Osey_ above
mentioned, or Auxois, was in old time a name for Alsace. It was richly
and highly flavoured.

The mention of the Duke of Clarence brings up the spectre of his
untimely end. A shroud of mystery veils its entire circumstances.
He was charged with high treason and condemned to death. Ten days
afterwards it was announced that he had died in the Tower. Was he first
murdered and then drowned, as Shakespeare thought,[82] or is the old
story to be believed, that he was drowned in a butt of malmsey? Since
the death of his dearly loved wife, Isabel of Warwick, he had abandoned
himself to intemperance, to drown his grief. With such a habit
contracted, with vexed conscience, in the despair of condemnation, and
with a butt of his favourite drink by his side, what more natural than
to suppose him to have been a miserable suicide? However, the weight of
testimony leans to the other theory--that he was stabbed by Richard’s
order, and the body thrown into the malmsey to make believe that he had
unwittingly drowned himself under the influence of drink.

Mr. Martin Leake gives the origin of the term _Malmsey_: Monemvasia,
now an island connected with the coast of Laconia by a bridge. This
name, derived from its position (μόνε ἐμβασία, _single entrance_),
was corrupted by the Italians to Malvasia; this place, celebrated for
its fine wines, had its name changed to Malvoisie in French, and
Malmsey in English, and came to be applied to many of the rich wines
of Greece, the Archipelago, &c.[83]

The consumption of strong drink at public entertainments was something
prodigious in the fifteenth century. At the banquet upon the occasion
of the installation of George Neville, Archbishop of York, in 1464, no
less than 300 tuns of ale and 100 tuns of wine were consumed. In the
household of Archbishop Booth, his predecessor, it is stated that about
80 tuns of claret were consumed annually.

The usages of _assay_ were at this time remarkable. Every cup of drink
served to the great man of the house was assayed twice, once in the
buttery and again in the hall. In the buttery the butler was required
to drink, under the marshal’s eye, some of every vessel of liquor sent
to the high table; and at the same time the marshal covered with its
lid every cup, before committing it to the lord’s cupbearer. It was
treason for a cupbearer to raise the lid of a vessel thus confided to
him, on his way from the buttery to the table; but he sipped it before
his lord took a draught. On serving his master the cupbearer knelt,
removed the lid, and poured some of the drink into the inverted cover.
When he had drunk this, the servant handed the cup to his master, who,
when he saw the liquor assayed before his eyes, accepted it as a liquor
of _credence_ which he might drink trustfully.[84]

But here we must stay for a while and inquire what action the Church
had been taking for the past century to check intemperance. In the
year 1359, Archbishop Islep, in his Constitution, informs Michael de
Northburg, Bishop of London, that though it is provided by sanctions
of law and canon that all Lord’s days be venerably observed from eve
to eve, so that neither markets, negotiations, nor courts be kept, nor
any country work done, that so every faithful man may go to his parish
church to worship and pray, yet ‘we are, to our great heart’s grief,
informed that a detestable, nay damnable, perverseness has prevailed,
insomuch that in many places, markets, unlawful meetings of men who
neglect their churches, various tumults and other occasions of evil are
committed, revels and drunkenness, and many other dishonest doings are
practised, ... wherefore we strictly command you that ye without delay
canonically admonish, and effectually persuade in virtue of obedience,
those of your subjects whom ye find culpable, that they do wholly
abstain from markets, courts, and the other unlawful practices for the
future,’ &c.

In a constitution held three years later, the same Archbishop Islep
lays intemperance to the charge of some of the priests, and imposes
strenuous penalties in default of amendment.[85] In 1363 Archbishop
Thoresby complains that it had become common for persons to meet in
churches on the vigils of saints, and offend against God by their
practices; that in the exequies of the dead, some turned the house of
mourning and prayer into the house of laughter and excess to the great
peril of their own souls. These were strictly forbidden to continue
such practices.

In the year 1468 the Prior of Canterbury and the commissaries
made a visitation (the see being then vacant); and it was ordered
that potations made in the churches, commonly called _give-ales_
or _bride-ales_, should be discontinued, under penalty of


was so called from the bride’s selling ale on the wedding day, and
friends contributing what they liked in payment of it. Brand imagines
that the expense was defrayed by the friends of the married pair
when circumstances were such as to need help. It was also called
_bride-stake_, _bride-wain_, and _bride-bush_; the bush sufficiently
signifying the nature of the gathering, inasmuch as it was the ancient
badge of a country ale-house. Before the festivities proper began on
the return from the bridal ceremony, it appears that a curious drinking
custom prevailed in the church. Wine, with sops immersed, was there
drunk, and bowls were kept in the church for this purpose. Thus, in
an inventory of goods belonging to Wilsdon church in the sixteenth
century, occurs the item, ‘two masers (mazers) that were appointed
to remayne in the church for to drink in at bride-ales.’ Shakespeare
alludes to this custom in his _Taming of the Shrew_, where Petruchio

    Calls for wine:--‘A health,’ quoth he ...
    ... Quaff’d off the muscadel,
    And threw the _sops_ all in the sexton’s face.

The practice continued in force for a long time, for we find allusion
to the same custom in the year 1720 in the _Compleat Vintner_:--

    What priest can join two lovers’ hands,
    But wine must seal the marriage-bands?
    As if celestial wine was thought
    Essential to the sacred knot,
    And that each bridegroom and his bride
    Believ’d they were not firmly ty’d
    Till Bacchus with his bleeding tvn,
    Had finished what the priest begun.

The wine thus drunk is called by Ben Jonson a ‘knitting cup.’ After the
ceremony they retired to a tavern or went home, and then the orgies
begun. In the words of an old writer, ‘When they come home from the
church, then beginneth excess of eatyng and drynking, and as much is
waisted in one daye as were sufficient for the two newe-maried folkes
halfe a year to lyve on.’

But these customs are not peculiar to England only. The Scotch have
their ‘penny bride-ale’ to help those who cannot pay the expense of
the wedding feast. In Germany, when a window was put in or altered,
was the _fenster-bier_ (window-beer). At the churchings of women
was the _kark-bier_ (church-beer). At funerals was the _grab-bier_
(grave-beer), beer forming an essential part of all such observances.

Edward IV. died in 1488, the victim of mortified ambition. His habits
of life were licentious and intemperate. He died under a violent fever
aggravated by excess. We can only hope that he died, as it is reported,
a penitent. An account is given in the Paston Letters (cccxliv.)
of an intended _progress_ of the king, probably to facilitate his
benevolences. In this, Sir John Paston is urged to warn William Gogney
and his fellows ‘to purvey them of wine enough, for every man beareth
me in hand that the town shall be drank dry, as York was when the king
was there.’

In this reign the Earls of Warenne and Surrey possessed the privilege
of licensing ale-houses. Mention has already been made of the ‘Crown,’
in Cheapside. In 1467 this house was kept by one Walter Walters, who in
harmless pleasantry gave it out that he would make his son ‘heir to the
“Crown.”’ This so displeased his Majesty Edward IV. that he ordered the
man to be put to death for high treason.

One piece of legislation remains to be told before closing the period.
In the first year of Richard III. (c. 13), it was enacted that malmsey
should in future be imported only in butts of 126 gallons. This measure
was for the prevention of frauds on the revenue. It was repealed by an
Act of George IV.


[77] Massinger: _A New Way to Pay Old Debts_.

[78] Allen, _History of Lambeth_.

[79] Roberts: _Social History of the Southern Counties_.

[80] Dodsworth’s MSS., Bibl. Bod., vol. 148, p. 97.

[81] Speechly: _Treatise on Culture of Wine_, 2nd ed. p. 270.

[82] Richard III., act i. scene 4.

[83] _Researches in Greece_, p. 197.

[84] Jeaffreson: _A Book about the Table_.

[85] For a terrible account of the _glutton-masses_ of the secular
clergy, see Henry, _Hist. Great Britain_, book v. ch. 7.

[86] Warton (_Hist. Poetry_, iii. 414) cites the above from Archbishop
Tanner’s manuscript _Additions to Cowell’s Law Glossary_.



The legislative enactments of the reign of Henry VII. demand minute
attention. With a certain modification, it is true that the direct
legislative sanction of the liquor traffic dates from this reign.
The revival of the trade of England was a great object with this
monarch. The greater part of the foreign trade of England had hitherto
been carried on by foreigners in foreign vessels of burden. Henry
was sensible that this prevented the increase of English ships and
sailors; so, to remedy this in part, he got a law passed in his first
Parliament, that no Gascony or Guienne wines should be imported into
any part of his dominions, except in English, Irish, or Welsh ships,
navigated by English, Irish, or Welsh sailors, which obliged them to
build ships and go to sea, or to lack their favourite liquor. This
law was enforced and enlarged by an Act made in his third Parliament
(1487), when it was enacted that no wines of Gascony or Guienne, or
woads of Tholouse, should be imported into England, except in ships
belonging to the king or some of his subjects; and that all such wines
and woads imported in foreign bottoms should be forfeited.

By 7 Henry VII., c. 7, it was enacted (in order to counteract the duty
of four ducats a tun lately imposed by the Venetians) that ‘every
merchant stranger (except Englishmen born) bringing malmseys into
this realm, should pay 18_s._ custom for each butt, over and above the
custom aforetime used to be paid.’ The price of the butt was fixed at

Of far more importance was the Act of 1496, passed ‘against vacabonds
and beggars.’ This empowers two justices of the peace ‘to rejecte and
put away comen ale-selling in townes and places where they shall think
convenyent, and to take suertie of the keepers of ale-houses of their
gode behavyng, by the discrecion of the seid justices, and in the same
to be avysed and aggreed at the time of their sessions.’

Leland gives in his _Collectanea_ a wine list which indicates the
comparative prices of wines at this time:--

    De Vino rubeo, VI dolia, prec. dol. 4_l_    24 li
    De Vino claret, IV dol. prec. dol. 7¾       14 li  13  8
    De Vino alb. elect. unum dol                 3 li   6  8
    De Vino alb. pro coquina i. dol              3 li
    De Malvesey, i but                           4 li
    De Ossey, i pipe                             3 li
    De Vino de Reane, ii almes                         26s 8

We get a good notion of the daily routine of court living in this reign
from the ordinances of the royal household. There is nothing whatever
in them indicative of excess, but they are interesting as matters
of history, and records of etiquette. ‘When the king cometh from
evensong into his great chamber on the even of the day of estate, the
chamberlain must warn the usher before evensong that the king will take
spice and wine in his great chamber.... Then shall the gentleman usher
bring thither the esquire, and especially the king’s server (officer
who set, removed, tasted, &c.) to bring the king’s spice plate.... And
when the usher cometh to the cellar door, charge a squire for the body
with the king’s own cup.’ This is simply a specimen of pages of like

Entries in the Household Book of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham,
furnish details of a nobleman’s style of living at the beginning of
the sixteenth century. On the Feast of the Nativity 290 persons dined
and supped at Thornbury Castle, on which occasion were consumed eleven
pottles and three quarts of Gascony wine, and 171 flagons of ale. This
was not excessive for the times, the vices of which are admirably
pictured in William Dunbar’s remarkable poem, _The Dance_. He describes
a procession of the seven deadly sins in the lower regions. Gluttony
brings up the rear:--

    Then the foul monster Gluttony,
    Of wame [belly] insatiable and gredy,
      To dance he did him dress:
    Him followed mony foul dronkart,
    With can and collop, cup and quart,
      In surfett and excess.
    Fully many a wasteful wally-drag [outcast],
    With wames [bellies] unwieldable did forth wag,
      In creische [fat] that did incress:
    Drink, aye, they cried, with mony a gape,
    The fiends gave them hait leid to lap [hot lead to lap]
      Their levery [reward] was no less.

The Household Book of the Earl of Northumberland is another capital
illustration of the table life of the higher nobles. In reading the
estimates, it must be taken into account that the household consisted
of 166 persons. The allowance of grain per month gave 250 quarters of
malt at 4_s._, two hogsheads to the quarter. This allowance may be
thought to speak more for the temperance of the retainers than for
the liberality of the lord. The wine was dispensed more liberally.
An annual consumption showed ten tuns and two hogsheads of Gascony.
A breakfast bill of fare appears thus: ‘Breakfastis for my lorde and
my ladye. Furst a loof of brede in trenchers, two manchets, one quart
of bere, a quart of wine, half a chyne of muton, ells a chyne of beif

A searching visiting of monasteries, indeed of all ecclesiastics
within the dominion, was entrusted by Henry VII. to his vicar-general
and vice-gerent, Thomas Cromwell. The scrutiny was intended mainly
for the monasteries. The eighty-six articles of instruction compass
a large field of minute inquiry. The commissioners were doubtless
much indebted to monastic factions and animosities for some of
the information which they gained. The scrutiny revealed terrible
irregularities in some cases, prominent among which were the vices of
gluttony and drunkenness. The result of this official investigation
was the dissolution of the smaller monasteries. And thus good was
effected; for, however much we discount the charges alleged, for the
reasons above suggested, the lives of the inmates had become a far
and wide scandal. Innocent VIII. sent a bull to Archbishop Morton in
1490, in which he informs him that he had heard with great grief from
persons worthy of credit, that the monks of all the different orders
in England had grievously degenerated, that giving themselves up to a
reprobate sense they led dissolute lives. But the archbishop was fully
aware of the evil, for in 1487 he had convened a synod of the prelates
and clergy of his province, for the reformation of the manners of the
clergy. In this convocation many of the London clergy were accused of
spending their whole time in taverns. But there is no disguising the
fact that profuseness of living was countenanced in the highest places
of the Church; which, if it does not excuse, at any rate explains the
excesses of the ‘inferior clergy.’ As late as 1504, when William Warham
was enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury, a feast was given for which
was procured--fifty-four quarters of wheat, six pipes of red wine, four
of claret, one of choice white, one of white for the kitchen, one butt
of Malmsey, one pipe of wine of Osey, two tierces of Rhenish wine, four
tuns of London ale, six of Kentish ale, and twenty of English beer.

It is curious how many of our tavern signs originated from incidents
in the history of our sovereigns. The ‘Red Dragon’ was in compliment
to Henry VII., who adopted this device for his standard at Bosworth
Field. It was in old times the ensign of the famous Cadwaller, the
last of the British kings, from whom the Tudors descended. The field
of Bosworth furnished matter for another sign. The hawthorn-bush
crowned was adopted by Henry VII. in allusion to the crown of his
predecessor which was found hidden in a hawthorn-bush after the
battle. But the seventh Henry escaped the honour (?) conferred upon
his successor and perpetuated, of being immortalised by his portrait
as Bluff Harry on scores of tavern signboards. It is stated in the
_History of Signboards_ that at Hever, in Kent, one of these rude
portraits of Henry VIII. may be seen. Near this village the Bolleyn,
or Bullen, family held possessions, and old people in the district
still show where Henry used to meet Anne Bolleyn. Anyhow, years after
the sad death of Anne, the village ale-house had for its sign, ‘Bullen
Butchered.’ When the place changed hands, the name of the house was
altered to the ‘Bull and Butcher,’ which sign existed till recently,
but was altered at the request of the clergyman of the parish, who
suggested the ‘King’s Head,’ and the village painter was commissioned
to make the alteration. The bluff features of the monarch were drawn;
and in his hands was placed an axe, and so the sign remains at present.

In the collection of ordinances for the Royal Household we have an
account of the ceremony of _wasselling_, as was practised at Court on
Twelfth Night in the reign of Henry VII. The ancient custom of pledging
each other out of the same cup had given place to the use of different
cups. Moreover, ‘when the steward came in at the doore with the wassel,
he was to crye three tymes, “_Wassel_, _wassel_, _wassel_,” and then
the chappell (chaplain) was to answere with a songe.’ The custom of
‘toasting’ was in full force. Shakespeare’s _King Henry VIII._ contains
several such allusions. Thus in act i., scene 4, the king exclaims--

                              Let’s be merry.
    Good my lord cardinal, I have a half a dozen healths
    To drink to these fair ladies.

Malmsey (pronounced by Shakespeare to be ‘fulsom’) competed with sack
to be the favourite drink of the period; it was the only sweet wine
specified in the ordinances of the household of Henry VIII. Malmsey was
a strangely generic term for sweet wines from almost every vine-growing
district. Candia, Chios, Lesbos, Tenedos, Tyre, Italy, Greece, Spain,
all yielding the _Malmsey_, which we found to have proved so fatal to

    Maudlin Clarence in his Malmsey butt.

Some believe it to have been first made at Napoli de Malvasia, in the
Morea. Certainly the principal part of that which was so extensively
imported in the middle ages came from the Archipelago. When subject
to Venetian rule Candia and Cyprus supplied Europe with their finest
wines, the former island alone being said to have exported 200,000
casks of Malmsey annually.

Sack is another generic term for sweet wine,[87] and is not of
necessity, as Nares describes it, ‘the same wine which is now named
sherry;’ a statement which the rest of his own remarks contradict.
Thus we find not only sherry-sack, but canary-sack, Malaga-sack,
rumney-sack, palm-sack, &c.[88] The derivation of the word is much
disputed; the town _Xique_, and the Spanish _saco_, a bag, have
been suggested; but _sack_, also written _seck_, is undoubtedly the
French _sec_, the Latin _siccus_, dry. It continued a popular wine
for another two centuries, as we find from Tom D’Urfey’s ballad on
the ‘Virtues of sack’ (1719). Redding states that the term ‘sack’ was
applied to sweet and dry wines of canary, Xeres, or Malaga. Vines are
said to have been first planted in the Canary Islands in the reign of
Charles V., imported thither from the Rhine. Canary was much drunk
formerly; the bibbers of it were dubbed ‘canary-birds,’ and the wine
‘canary-sacke.’[89] An old writer growls, ‘sacke is their chosen
nectar; they love it better than their own souls; they will never leave
off sacke, until they have sackt out all their silver; nay, nor then
neither, for they will pawn their crouds for more sacke.’

The following receipt for beer, taken from Arnold’s Chronicle,
published in 1521, reminds that by this time hops were in use, ‘ten
quarters of malt, 2 of wheat, 2 of oats, with 11lbs. of hops for making
11 barrels of single beer.’ This is the first I can find with hops as
an ingredient. The old distich, of which there are two versions,

    Hops, reformation, bays, and beer,
    Came into England all in one year,


    Hops and turkeys, carp and beer,
    Came into England all in a year,[90]

would fix the introduction of hops to the time of Henry VIII. But there
is a difficulty here, inasmuch as the use of this plant in brewing was
known long before, and Henry VIII., who interfered in everything from
religion to beer-barrels, forbade his subjects to put hops in their ale.

Spirits were beginning to acquire a reputation in England. Numbers of
Irish settled in Pembrokeshire in this reign, and employed themselves
in the distillation of their national beverage, usquebaugh, which had a
large sale in this country.

But, to pass from the drinks to the drinkers, the habits of Henry VIII.
are well known. He was constantly intoxicated, and kept the lowest
company. His right hand, Wolsey, was actually put in the stocks by Sir
Amias Powlett, when he was Rector of Lymington, for drunkenness at
a neighbouring fair. Why should not such punishments be revived as
either the stocks or the ‘drunkard’s cloak’? In this latter, drunkards
were paraded through the town, wearing a tub instead of a cloak, a hole
being made for the head to pass through, and two small ones in the
sides, through which the hands were drawn.

Experience is a good master. No one could look after the monks better
than Wolsey. It appears that a system of _misericords_ had found place
in monasteries. These misericords were exoneration from duties granted
by the Abbots to the monks. This privilege in course of time they
abused. The Augustinian canons absented themselves from the choir and
cloister, sometimes for whole weeks; whereupon Wolsey ordered that
these canons should recreate themselves not singly, but in a number
together, supervised by the superior, and accompanied; that they should
repair not to the towns, villages, and taverns, but to sunny places
near their houses; that they should not go to houses of laymen to eat
and drink without leave, but carry their provisions with them.

One of the most magnificent pageants on record welcomed Anne Boleyn
to the city of London in 1533. At Gracechurch Corner was erected ‘the
Mount Parnassus, with the fountain of Helicon.’ It was formed of white
marble. Four streams rose an ell high and met in a cup above the
fountain which ran copiously till night with Rhenish wine. At the great
Conduit in Cheap, a fountain ran continuously, at one end white wine,
at the other claret, all the afternoon. Anne had been maid of honour
at court. The household books of the kings describe the allowance
and rules of the table of the ladies of the household. A marvellous
picture of the times! A chine of beef, a manchet, and a chet loaf was
a breakfast for the three. To these was added a _gallon of ale_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gascon wine was now in favour for court consumption. The Losely MSS.
supply the items of Sir Thomas Carden’s purchases for Anne of Cleves’
cellar.[91] Among these were 3 hogsheads of Gascoigne wine at 3_l._
each; 10 gallons of Malmsey at 20_d._ a gallon; 11 gallons of Muscadel
at 2_s._ 2_d._ a gallon; and 10 gallons of sack at 16_d._ a gallon. A
pipe of Gascon wine was also the bribe which Lady Lisle sent to the
Countess of Rutland, to secure her good offices in obtaining the post
of maid of honour for her daughter, Miss Basset.

We are able to form a rough estimate of the quantity of liquor kept
in stock at this time, from a return which was made by order, on the
occasion of the visit of the Emperor Charles V. to the king. The city
authorities appear to have been afraid of being drunk dry by the
swarming Flemings in the emperor’s train. To avoid such a calamity,
a return was made of all the wine to be found at the eleven wine
merchants and the twenty-eight principal taverns then in London; the
sum total of which was 809 pipes.[92]

The corruptions of court life were fearlessly exposed by a
contemporary, John Skelton, in his _Bowge of Court_. Bowge (_bouche_,
mouth) denoted the courtier’s right of eating at the king’s expense.
The Bowge of Court was an allegorical ship with court vices on board.
Ecclesiastics in high places were mercilessly satirised in his
_Colin Clout_, _e.g._ (_a_) their hurry from the house of God to get

    But when they have once caught
    _Dominus vobiscum_ by the head,
    Then run they in every stead (place),
    God wot, with drunken nolls (heads),
    Yet take they cure of souls.

(_b_) Their unconcern at the tragedy of the Saviour’s passion--

    Christ by cruelty
    Was nailed upon a tree;
    He paid a bitter pension
    For manne’s redemption,
    He drank eysell and gall
    To redeem us withal.
    But sweet hippocras ye drink,
    With ‘Let the cat wink!’

(_c_) Their logomachies under the excitement of drink--

    They make interpretation
    Of an awkward fashion,
    And of the prescience
    Of Divine essence,
    And what hypostasis
    Of Christe’s manhood is.
    Such logic men will chop,
    And in their fury hop
    When the good ale-sop
    Doth dance in their foretop.

If Sir T. Elyot (1534) was correct in speaking of temperance as a new
word, the virtue was old enough, even though the practice was rare. In
the most corrupt times virtue has ever had its witnesses, even as the
epoch of the dissolute Henry had its Sir David Lindsay, and its Earl of
Surrey. The latter, amongst _the means to attain a happy life_, could

    The mean diet, no delicate fare;
    True wisdom joined with simpleness;
    The night discharged of all care;
    Where wine the wit may not oppress.

The legislation of this reign did little more than affect details. The
repeal of a certain law is worthy of note. From a remarkable clause
in a statute of Henry III. it might be supposed that England was much
fallen from the flourishing condition of preceding times. It had been
enacted in the time of Edward II. that no magistrate, in town or
borough, who by his office ought to keep assize, should during the
continuance of his magistracy sell, either in wholesale or retail, any
wine or victuals. This law seemed equitable in order to prevent fraud
in fixing the assize. It was in this reign repealed. The following
piece of legislation affected the price of wines: By 23 Henry VIII.,
c. 7, the wines of Gascony and Guienne were forbidden to be sold above
eightpence the gallon, and the retail price of ‘Malmeseis, romeneis,
sakkes, and other swete wynes,’ was fixed at 12_d._ the gallon,
6_d._ the pottle, 3_d._ the quart, and directions were given to the
authorities ‘to set the prices of all kynde of wines in grosse.’ The
merchants, however, evaded or neglected the law and raised the price;
this aroused the vintners, who presented a remonstrance, in answer to
which it was enacted that the commissioners appointed previously should
have the discretionary power of increasing or diminishing the prices of
wines sold in gross or by retail, as occasion should require.

By an Act of 1531, every brewer was forbidden to take more than such
prices and rates as should be thought sufficient, at the discretion of
Justices of Peace within every shire, or by the mayor and sheriffs in a

An effort, only partly successful, was made at this time to reduce
holidays, which had degenerated into occasions of excess. Complaint was
made that the number of such days was excessively increased, to the
detriment of civil government and secular affairs; and that the great
irregularities and licentiousness which had crept into these festivals
by degrees, especially in the churches, chapels, and churchyards, were
found injurious to piety, virtue, and good manners, therefore both
statutes and canons were made to regulate and restrain them, and by an
act of convocation, passed in 1536, their number was reduced.[93]

Perhaps nothing strikes one so much in connection with intemperance
in pre-reformation time as the abuses that gathered about religious
ceremonies. Everything of the kind was made a public occasion of
excess. At weddings especially was this notorious. Writing upon the
subject, a 16th century author observes, ‘Early in the morning the
wedding people begynne to excead in superfluous eatyng and drinkyng,
and when they come to the preachynge they are halfe droncke, some all

It is not to be wondered at. The court was rotten, and its influence
filtered then, as always, to the masses. Even the pledge of temperance
introduced on the continent about this time was no safeguard. It is
told how Henry himself contrived to make an envoy of the German court,
who was an associate of a temperate order, break his pledge, assuring
him that if his master would only visit England he would not lack boon

Foreigners visited England. They came, they saw, they reported. A
certain Master Stephen Perlin, a French physician who was in England
just after Henry’s death, records for the benefit of his countrymen:
‘The English, one with the other are joyous, and are very fond of
music; they are also great drinkers. Now remember if you please that in
this country they generally use vessels of silver when they drink wine;
and they will say to you usually at table, “Goude chere,” and they will
also say to you more than one hundred times, “Drind oui,” and you will
reply to them in their language, “I plaigui” (I pledge you).’

One of our own writers, Philip Stubbes, who was ridiculed by Nash for
‘pretending to anatomize abuses and stubbe up sin by the rootes,’
asserts that the public-houses were crowded in London from morning to
night with inveterate drunkards, whose only care appears to have been
as to where they could obtain the best ale, so totally oblivious to all
other things had they become.[95]

And what a flood of light is thrown not only on the universal drinking,
but upon the respectability of the same, in the fact that a bishop,
Bishop Still, a Bishop of Bath and Wells, and previously Master of St.
John’s College, Cambridge, and Master also of Trinity, whose portrait
still hangs in the College hall of the latter, should be the author of
the following drinking song, which Warton calls the first Chanson à
Boire _of any merit_ in our language, and apologises for introducing a
ballad convivial and _ungodlie_.

              I cannot eate but lytle meate,
                My stomacke is not good,
              But sure I thinke that I can drinke
                With him that wears a hood.
              Though I go bare, take ye no care,
                I nothing am a colde,
              I stuff my skyn so full within,
                Of joly good ale and olde.

    _Chorus._ Backe and syde go bare, go bare,
                Booth foote and hand go colde,
              But belly, God send thee good ale ynoughe,
                Whether it be new or olde.

              I have no rost, but a nut brawne toste,
                And a crab laid in the fyre;
              A little breade shall do me steade,
                Much breade I not desyre.
              No frost nor snow, nor winde, I trowe,
                Can hurt mee, if I wolde,
              I am so wrapt and throwly lapt
                Of joly good ale and olde.
    _Chorus._ Backe and syde go bare, go bare, etc.

              And Tyb my wife, that, as her lyfe,
                Loveth well good ale to seeke,
              Full oft drynkes shee, tyll ye may see
                The teares run downe her cheeke.
              Then doth she trowle to me the bowle,
                Even as a mault-worme sholde,
              And sayth, sweete harte, I took my parte
                Of this joly good ale and olde.
    _Chorus._ Backe and syde go bare, go bare, etc.

              Now let them drynke, tyll they nod and winke,
                Even as goode fellowes sholde doe,
              They shall not mysse to have the blisse
                Good ale doth bring men to;
              And all poore soules that have scowred bowles,
                Or have them lustily trolde,
              God save the lives of them and their wives,
                Whether they be yonge or olde.
    _Chorus._ Backe and syde go bare, go bare, etc.[96]

Is there any wonder that his ‘stomacke was not good’? Imagine some of
his successors in that See having composed it! Fancy the author of
‘Glory to Thee, my God, this night’ (Bishop Ken), having written it!
Mark, too, the insinuation of the fourth line as to the clergy of the
period! The authorship is vouched for by Thomas Park. The song begins
the second act of ‘Gammer Gurton’s Needle,’ a comedy written in 1551,
and acted at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Warton mentions that in the
title of the old edition it is said to have been written ‘by Mr. S.,
Master of Artes.’ Which, being interpreted is, Still; _afterwards_
Bishop of Bath and Wells.

It was about this time that that pernicious habit arose of _transacting
business_ over drink. We find constant allusions in the Tudor period to
the principal men of the boroughs in this manner concluding a bargain.
Thus we find an entry of Mr. William Tudbold, Mayor of Lyme, 1551, to
this effect:--‘_Item_, paid at Robert Davey’s when we new agreed with
Whytte the mason, vi d.’

These taverns were some of them kept by the clergy. Bishop Burnet
states that so pillaged were the ecclesiastics of their property, that
many clergymen were obliged for a subsistence to turn carpenters or
tailors, and some kept ale-houses.

Hitherto there had been no civil legislation whatever against
drunkenness. The crime is not mentioned in the Statute Book till the
fifth year of Edward VI. From this time we shall find a number of
statutes framed for the purpose of its prevention or punishment.

The Act, 5th and 6th Edward, c. 25, is entitled, ‘An Acte for Keepers
of Ale-houses to be bounde by Recognizances.’ The following is a brief
epitome of the Act:--Forasmuch as intolerable hurts and troubles to
the commonwealth do daily grow and increase through such abuses and
disorders as are had and used in common ale-houses and other houses
called tippling-houses, it is enacted that Justices of Peace can
abolish ale-houses at their discretion, and that no tippling-house can
be opened without a licence. That these houses be supervised by the
taking surety for the maintenance of good order and rule, and for the
suppression of gaming. Moreover, special scrutiny was made into the
forfeiting of such recognisances. Breaches of the Act were punished
with imprisonment and fine.

Two years later, an Act was passed to avoid the great price and excess
of wine. ‘For the avoiding of many inconveniences much evil rule and
common resort of mis-ruled persons used and frequented in many taverns,
of late newly set up in very great numbers in back lanes, corners, and
suspicious places within the city of London, and in divers other towns
and villages within this realm,’ it was enacted, subject to certain
exceptions of rank and income, that none should be allowed to keep
any vessel of Gascony, Guienne, or Rochelle wine for the use of his
family exceeding 10 gallons under forfeiture of 10_l._; none could be
retailed without a licence, and only two taverns could be licensed in
a borough, with the following exceptions, forty in London, three in
Westminster, six in Bristol, four in Canterbury, Cambridge, Chester,
Exeter, Gloucester, Hull, Newcastle, and Norwich; three in Colchester,
Hereford, Ipswich, Lincoln, Oxford, Salisbury, Shrewsbury, Southampton,
Winchester, and Worcester. The retail price was fixed, and none could
retail wines to be drunk within their respective houses.

Vastly important was this legislation; its consequences were manifest,
and would have been much more so, had not so much of it been permitted
to become a dead letter. At any rate it paved the way for the very
important Act of Philip and Mary in the Irish Parliament which renders
obligatory a licence for the manufacture of Aqua Vitæ, and which
brought about so great a reduction in the use of ardent spirits in that

       *       *       *       *       *

The consort of Queen Mary soon found out the favourite English drink.
Philip courted popularity. He gave it out that he was come to England
to live like an Englishman, and in proof thereof drank some ale for
the first time at a public dinner, gravely commending it as the wine
of the country. Queen Mary at the time of her coronation was single,
so Philip missed the usual pageant, the running of the conduits at
Cornhill and Cheapside with wine, and the oration at St. Paul’s School,
of Heywood, the Queen’s favourite poet, who ‘sat under a vine.’ It is
to be hoped that Heywood made himself more intelligible than in some of
his enigmatical epigrams, of which that on ‘Measure’ is a specimen.

    Measure is a merry meane,
      Which filde with noppy drinke,
    When merry drinkers, drinke off clene.
      Then merrily they winke.

    Measure is a merry meane,
      But I meane measures gret,
    Where lippes to litely pitchers weane,
      Those lippes they scantly wet.

The pastoral visit of Bishop Ridley to Queen Mary reminds us of a
curious feature of old English hospitality, that of drinking before
leaving. Persons of quality were either taken into the cellar for
a draught of ale or wine fresh from the cask, as was the Duke of
Buckingham into Wolsey’s cellar, or it was brought to them last thing
as they mounted their horses, and was called from this the stirrup-cup.

    Boy, lead our horses on when we get up,
    Wee’l have with you a merry _stirrup cupp_.

Ridley was introduced to the cellar by Sir Thomas Wharton, the steward
of the household. When he had drunk, he said he had done wrong to drink
under a roof where God’s Word was rejected.

The opinions that have been ventured upon the relative sobriety of the
Elizabethan period are as conflicting as they are various. The most
reliable contemporary who can be cited in favour of the sobriety of
the period is William Harrison, whose opinion may be gathered from two
passages of his work. He says, ‘I might here talke somewhat of the
great silence that is used at the tables of the honourable and wiser
sort generallie over all the realme, likewise the moderate eating and
drinking that is daily seene, and finallie of the regard that such one
hath to keepe himselfe from note of surfetting and drunkennesse (for
which cause salt meat, except beefe, bacon, and porke, are not anie
whit esteemed, and yet these three may be much powdered). But as in the
rehearsall thereof I should commend the nobleman, merchant, and frugall
artificer, so I could not cleare the meaner sort of husbandmen of
verie much bobbling (except it be here and there some od yeoman), with
whom he is thought to be the meriest that talketh of most ribaldraie,
or the wisest man that speakest fastest among them, and now and then
surfeiting and drunkennesse, which they rather fall into for want of
heed-taking, than wilfullie following or delighting in those errours
of set mind and purpose. It may be that divers of them living at home
with hard and pinching diet, small drinks, and some of them having
scarce enough of that, are soonest overtaken when they come unto such
banquets, howbeit they take it generallie as no small disgrace if
they happen to be cup-shotten, so that is a grefe unto them, though
now _sans remédie_ sith the thing is done and past.’ The passage that
follows certainly suggests that in some respects our ancestors were
wiser than their descendants:--

    Drink is usually filled in goblets, jugs, bols of silver, in
    noblemen’s houses, all of which notwithstanding are seldom set
    upon the table, but each one, as necessitie urgeth, calleth for
    a cup of such drinke as him listeth to drinke: so that, when he
    have tasted of it, he delyvereth the cup againe to some of the
    standers bye, who, making it cleane by pouring out the drinke that
    remayneth, restoreth it to the cupboard from whence he fetched the
    same. By this device much idle tippling is cut off; for if the full
    pots shall continuallie stand at the elbowe or near the trencher,
    divers will alwaies be dealing with them, whereas they now drinke
    seldome, and onelie when necessitie urgeth, and so avoid the note
    of grete-drynkinge or often troubling the servitors with filling
    their bolls.

But there is a vast mass of evidence on the other side that must be
examined before the conflicting judgments can be put into the scale.
And first, the preambles to the Acts of Parliament testify that the
national taste was intensifying. Thus the preamble to Act 1 Eliz. c.
ii. states that of late years much greater quantity of sweet wines had
been imported into the kingdom than had been usual in former times.
Again, in 1597, an Act was passed to restrain the excessive use of
malt. The preamble asserts that greater quantity of malt is daily made
than either in times past or now is needful. It must be remembered,
however, that during the time of Elizabeth the _export_ of beer had
become a valuable branch of commerce. The queen herself, in her
right of purveyance, a prerogative then inherent in the crown, caused
quantities of beer so obtained to be sold on the Continent for her
own emolument. Further than this, honest efforts were made in some
directions to keep down the home consumption. For instance, it is
stated the Lord Keeper Egerton, in his charge to the judges when going
on circuit in 1602, bade them ascertain, for the queen’s information,
how many ale-houses the justices of the peace had pulled down, so that
the good justices might be rewarded and the evil removed.

One more Act of this reign must be noticed, the exact or full purport
of which might be mistaken. It was nominally against the danger of
fire, but in reality it was intended to prevent tipplers from having
the means of conducting furtive brewings. The Act bears the date of
1590. By 22 Eliz. it was enacted ‘that no innkeeper, common brewer, or
typler shall keep in their houses any fewel, as straw or verne, which
shall not be thought requisite, and being warned of the constable to
rid the same within one day, _subpœna_, xx_s_.’

In the next place we must take into account the extraordinary
_variety_ of wines now drunk. Holinshed observes, ‘As all estates
doo exceed herin, I meane for number of costlie dishes, so these
forget not to use the like excesse in wine, insomuch as there is no
kind to be had, whereof at great meetings there is not some store
to be had’ (Holinshed, _Chronicles_). The writer further speaks of
the importation of 20,000 or 30,000 tuns a year, notwithstanding the
constant restraints put upon it. After detailing about fifty-six sorts
of ‘small wines,’ such as claret, &c., he speaks of ‘the thirtie kinds
of Italian, Grecian, Spanish, Canarian, &c., whereof vernage (a sweet
Italian wine, so called from the thick-skinned grape or _vernaccia_
used in its manufacture), cate, piment (vin cuit), raspis, muscadell,
romnie, bastard, tire (Italian, from the grape _tirio_), oseie,
caprike, clarcie, and malmeseie, are not least of all accompted of
because of their strength and valure.’

The monasteries were noted for having the best wine and ale, the latter
of which they specially brewed for themselves. The author just quoted
mentions that the best wine was called _theologicum_, because it was
had ‘from the cleargie and religious men, unto whose houses manie of
the laitie would often send for bottels filled with the same, being
sure that they would neither drinke nor be served of the worst, or such
as was anie waies mingled or brued by the vintner. Naie, the merchant
would have thought that his soule should have gone streight waie to the
devill, if he should have served them with other than the best.’

Besides all these kinds of wines, of which the strongest were most in
request, distilled liquors were manufactured in England, the principal
of which were rosa solis and aqua vitæ. Ale and beer were also in
request. There was single beer, or small ale, and double beer, also
double-double beer, dagger ale, and bracket. But the favourite drink
was a kind of ale called huf-cap, which was highly intoxicating; thus
in Harrison’s _England_ we read, ‘These men hale at huf-cap till they
be red as cockes, and little wiser than their combs.’ And again, the
_Water Poet_,--

    There’s one thing more I had almost forgot,
    And this is it, of ale-houses and innes,
    Wine marchants, vintners, brewers, who much wins
    By others losing, I say more or lesse,
    Who sale of _huf-cap_ liquor doe professe.

This drink (huf-cap) was also called mad-dog, angels’ food, and
dragon’s milk. The gentry brewed for their own consumption a generous
ale which they did not bring to table till it was two years old. This
was called _March Ale_, from the month in which it was brewed. Ale was
often richly compounded with various dainties. Often it was warmed, and
mixed with sugar and spices; sometimes with a toast; sometimes with a
roasted crab or apple, making the beverage known as _Lamb’s wool_.

    Sometimes lurk I in a gossip’s bowl,
    In very likeness of a roasted crab;
    And when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
    And on her wither’d dew-lap pour the ale.[97]

      Now crowne the bowle
      With gentle _lambs-wooll_,
    Add sugar, and nutmegs, and ginger.[98]

The strength of the ale as commonly sold transpires from many
incidental notices in the history of the time. Thus Leicester writes to
Burleigh that at a certain place in her Majesty’s travels ‘there was
not one drop of good drink for her.... We were fain to send forthwith
to London, and to Kenilworth, and divers other places where ale was;
her own here was so strong as there was no man able to drink it.’

The sobriety of this queen has never been called in question, although
one author, in commenting on the Kenilworth pageant, remarks that
many such entertainments were accepted by this queen, who professed
to restrain luxury and extravagance, and issued sumptuary edicts,
but did not ennoble precept by example. This is ill-natured. It is
incidental to high position to accept a profusion of hospitality,
for which it can scarcely be held responsible. And unquestionably on
this occasion the hospitality was profuse. It is stated that no less
than 365 hogsheads of beer were drunk at it, in addition to the daily
complement of 16 hogsheads of wine. The entertainment lasted nineteen
days. Notwithstanding such exceptional receptions, there is no doubt
that the queen did bring influence to bear in refining the manners
of her court; and among the many changes effected, none were more
apparent than in the festive entertainments of the time. Harrison draws
particular attention to the fact that the swarms of jesters, tumblers,
and harpers, that formerly had been indispensable to the banquet-room,
were now discarded. He further mentions another valuable change of
custom. The wine and other liquors were not placed upon the tables with
the dishes, but on a sideboard, and each person called as occasion
required for a flagon of the wine he wanted, by which means ‘much idle
tippling was avoided.’ When the company had done feeding, what remained
was sent to the servants, and when these were satisfied the fragments
were distributed among the poor who waited without the gate.

To the minstrel these innovations were practically ruin. He who had
been in past times the soul of the tournament, and a welcome guest at
every banquet, was now a street ballad-singer, or ale-house fiddler,
chanting forth from benches and barrel-heads to an audience consisting
of a few gaping rustics, or a parcel of idle boys; and, as if the
degradation of these despised and unhoused favourites of former days
had not been enough, the stern justice of the law made them doubly
vile, obliging them to skulk into corners, and perform their merry
offices in fear and trembling. Minstrels were now classed in the
statute with rogues and vagabonds, and made liable to the same pains
and penalties. Already it might be said,

    No longer courted and caress’d,
    High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
    He pour’d, to lord and lady gay,
    The unpremeditated lay:
    Old times were changed, old manners gone.[99]

What has just been observed of the queen, applies to more than one
of her renowned courtiers. Burleigh was a man given to hospitality,
occasionally to conviviality, if there is any truth in the lines known
as _The Islington Garland_, which thus describes him and his friend,--

    Here gallant gay Essex, and burly Lord Burleigh,
    Sate late at their revels, and came to them early,

alluding to the inn at Islington. But rather than read the man in an
ephemeral lampoon we would turn to his sole literary production, and
find the impress of his mind in his work addressed to his son Robert
Cecil, entitled _Precepts or Directions for the Well Ordering and
Carriage of a Man’s Life_, in which he offers the following advice:--

    Touching the guiding of thy house, let thy hospitality be moderate,
    and, according to the means of thy estate, rather plentiful than
    sparing, but not costly. For I never knew any man grow poor by
    keeping an orderly table. But some consume themselves through
    secret vices, and their hospitality bears the blame. But banish
    swinish drunkards out of thine house, which is a vice impairing
    health, consuming much and makes no show. I never heard praise
    ascribed to the drunkard, but for the well-bearing of his drink,
    which is a better commendation for a brewer’s horse or a drayman,
    than for either a gentleman or a serving-man.

A more striking lay homily than even this upon the evils of drink is to
be found in the writings of another notable of the period, Sir Walter
Raleigh. His words are letters of gold.

    Take especial care that thou delight not in wine, for there was
    not any man that came to honour or preferment that loved it; for
    it transformeth a man into a beast, decayeth health, poisoneth
    the breath, destroyeth natural heat, brings a man’s stomach to an
    artificial heat, deformeth the face, rotteth the teeth, and, to
    conclude, maketh a man contemptible, soon old, and despised of
    all wise and worthy men; hated in thy servants, in thyself, and
    companions; for it is a bewitching and infectious vice. A drunkard
    will never shake off the delight of beastliness; for the longer
    it possesses a man, the more he will delight in it; and the older
    he groweth, the more he will be subject to it; for it dulleth the
    spirits, and destroyeth the body, as ivy doth the old tree; or
    as the worm that engendereth in the kernel of a nut. Take heed,
    therefore, that such a cureless canker pass not thy youth, nor such
    a beastly infection thy old age; for then shall all thy life be but
    as the life of a beast, and after thy death thou shalt only leave
    a shameful infamy to thy posterity, who shall study to forget that
    such a one was their father.

Such is the language of the man who founded the ‘Mermaid’ in Bread
Street, the first of the long succession of clubs started in
London,[100] and connected with which were such as Shakespeare, Ben
Jonson, Beaumont, and Fletcher. And, coming from such a man, it is
convincing that the vitiation of the national taste had forced itself
upon common observation, and, of course, engraved itself upon the pages
of history. Thus Camden, speaking of the year 1581 (though the earlier
part of his observation displays imperfect acquaintance with previous
history), remarks, ‘The English, who had hitherto, of all the Northern
nations, shown themselves the least addicted to immoderate drinking,
and been commended for their sobriety, first learned in these wars with
the Netherlands to swallow a large quantity of intoxicating liquor,
and to destroy their own health by drinking that of others.’ And as a
confirmation of the _latter_ part of his assertion, it may be noticed
that the barbarous terms formerly used in drinking matches are of
Dutch, German, or Danish origin.[101]

To the same effect the chronicler Baker observes that during the
Dutch war the English learnt to be drunkards, and brought the vice
so far to overspread the kingdom that laws were fain to be enacted
for repressing it. The satirist Tom Nash, who lived at this time,
describes, as only he could, the various _classes of drunkards_ as they
presented themselves to his observation:--‘The first is _ape-drunk_,
and he leaps and sings and hollows and danceth for the heavens; the
second is _lyon-drunk_, and he flings the pot about the house, breaks
the glass windows with his dagger, and is apt to quarrel.... The third
is _swine-drunk_, heavy, lumpish, and sleepy, and cries for a little
more drink and a few more clothes; the fourth is _sheep-drunk_, wise
in his own conceit when he cannot bring forth a right word; the fifth
is _maudlen-drunk_, when a fellow will weep for kindness in the midst
of his drink.... The sixth is _martin-drunk_, when a man is drunk,
and drinks himself sober ere he stir. The seventh is _goat-drunk_,
when in his drunkenness he hath no mind but on lechery. The eighth
is _fox-drunk_, as many of the Dutchmen be, which will never bargain
but when they are drunk. All these species, and more, I have seen
_practised_ in one company and at one sitting.’

The various methods of raising money for the Church and poor have
already been examined under the heading of _Ales_. It will be necessary
in forming the estimate of manners at this time to trace how the system
developed, The use and abuse will be both apparent. For the use we turn
to the _Survey of Cornwall_,[102] where we read that:--

    For the church ale two young men of the parish are yearely chosen
    by their last pregoers to be wardens, who, dividing the task, make
    collections among the parishioners of what provision it pleaseth
    them voluntarily to bestow. This they employ in brewing, baking,
    and other achates against Whitsuntide, upon which holy dayes the
    neighbours meet at the church-house, and there meetly feed on
    theire owne victuals, contributing some petty portion to the stock
    which by many smalls groweth to a meetly greatness, for there is
    entertained a kinde of emulation between the wardens, who by his
    graciousness in gathering, and good husbandry in expending, can
    best advance the churches profit. Besides, the neighbour parishes
    at those times lovingly visit one another, and this way frankly
    spend their money together. When the feast is ended the wardens
    yield in their account to the parishioners, and such money as
    exceedeth the disbursements is layd up in store to defray any
    extraordinary charges arising in the parish or imposed on them for
    the good of the country, or the prince’s service.

The next author to be cited gives both use and abuse; thus Philip Stubs
(or Stubbes), who has been already quoted, after speaking of the
contributions of malt by parishioners for church-ales, goes on to say:--

    When this nippitatum (strong liquor), this huffe-cap as they call
    it, this nectar of life, is set abroach, well is he that can get
    the soonest to it, and spends the most at it, for he is counted the
    godliest man of all the rest, and most in God’s favour, because it
    is spent upon his church forsooth. If all be true which they say,
    they bestow that money which is got thereby for the repaire of
    their churches and chappels; they buy bookes for the service, cupps
    for the celebration of the sacrament, &c.

Speaking of the manner of keeping wakes, he says they were the sources
of ‘gluttonie and drunkenness,’ and that many spend more at one of
these than in all the year besides.

For the unqualified abuse of such a system we turn to a sermon preached
in the same reign (1570) at Blandford by William Kethe, from which it
appears that these church-ales were kept on the Sunday, ‘which holy
day,’ says he, ‘the multitudes call their revelyng day, which day is
spent in bul-beatings, beare-beatings, bowlings, dicyng, cardyng,
daunsynges, drunkenness, and whoredome.’[103]

Even this picture is utterly eclipsed by the ghastly description of the
excesses at a church dedication festival, as given by the contemporary

    The dedication of the church is yerely had in minde,
    With worship passing catholicke, and in a wond’rous kinde;
           *       *       *       *       *
    Then sundrie pastimes do begin, and filthy daunces oft;
    When drunkards they do lead the daunce with fray and bloody fight,
    That handes and eares and head and face are torne in wofull plight.
    The streames of bloud runne downe the armes, and oftentimes is seene
    The carkasse of some ruffian slaine is left upon the greene.
    Here many for their lovers sweete some dainty thing do true,
    And many to the taverne goe and drinke for companie,
    Whereat they foolish songs do sing, and noyses great do make;
    Some in the meanewhile play at cardes, and some the dice do shake.
    Their custome also is the priest into the house to pull,
    Whom, when they have, they thinke their game accomplished at full;
    He farre in noyse exceedes them all, and eke in drinking drye
    The cuppes, a prince he is.[104]

Such a description is of itself an ample justification of the censure
of the clergy in the injunctions of Elizabeth, among which we find:
‘The clergy shall not haunt ale-houses or taverns, or spend their time
idly at dice, cards, tables, or any other unlawful game.’

But amidst all these dissipated distractions, influences of a
qualifying character were also at work. The powerful pen of Bacon was
writing, ‘All the crimes on the earth do not destroy so many of the
human race, nor alienate so much property, as drunkenness.’ George
Gascoigne was holding up an honest old-fashioned mirror, true as
steel, to the faults and vices of his countrymen.[105] In his curious
treatise, the full title of which is ‘_A Delicate Diet for Daintie
Mouthde Droonkards; wherein the fowle abuse of common carousing
and quaffing with heartie draughtes, is honestly admonished_,’
he vigorously inveighs against the popular drinks: ‘We must have
March Beere, dooble-dooble Beere, Dagger-Ale, Bragget, Renish wine,
White-wine, French wine, Gascoyne wine, Sack, Hollocke, Canaria wine,
Vino Greco, Vinum amabile, and al the wines that may be gotten. Yea,
wine of itselfe is not sufficient; but Sugar, Limons, and sundry sortes
of spices must be drowned therein.’ Spenser was teaching the virtues
of temperance in that marvellous production in which chivalry and
religion are so matchlessly blended, his _Faery Queen_. The second book
contains the legend of Sir Guyon, or of Temperance. The knight is sent
upon an adventure by the Fairy Queen, to bring captive to her court an
enchantress named Acrasia, in whom is imaged the vice of Intemperance.
The various adventures which he meets with by the way are such as show
the virtues and happy effects of temperance, or the ill consequences
of intemperance. But before claiming for the sons of Rechab a patron
in Spenser, it must be told that the same author in his _Epithalamion_
harps on other strings. There we read:--

    Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
    Pour not by cups but by the bellyful.
    Pour out to all that wull,
    And sprinkle all the posts and walls with wine,
    That they may sweat and drunken be withal.

These are dissimilar strains to those of the good Sir Guyon,

    In whom great rule of Temperance goodly doth appear.

And shall we here stop short? Certainly not. The Bard of Avon, William
Shakespeare, offers many a caution to the falling and fallen. To
attempt to quote him fully would be beside the present purpose. It must
suffice to gather from his works five or six prominent reflections.[106]

I. The constant use of strong drink impairs its _remedial_ effect.

Thus in the _Tempest_, act ii. scene 3, Stephano is made to say, ‘He
shall taste of my bottle; if he have never drank wine afore, it will go
near to remove his fit.’

II. That strict temperance is a source of health.

Thus in _As You Like It_, act ii. scene 3, Adam declares--

    Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
    For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
    Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
    The means of weakness and debility;
    Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly.

III. That the Danes had an established character for deep drinking.
Thus _Hamlet_, act i. scene 4:--

    _Hamlet._ The king doth awake to-night and takes his rouse,
              Keeps wassel, and the swaggering upspring reels;
              And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
              The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
              The triumph of his pledge.

    _Hor._    Is it a custom?

    _Ham._                    Ay, marry, is’t;
              But to my mind--though I am native here
              And to the manner born--it is a custom
              More honour’d in the breach than the observance.
              This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
              Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations:
              They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
              Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
              From our achievements, though perform’d at height,
              The pith and marrow of our attribute.

‘They clepe us drunkards.’ And well our Englishmen might, for in Queen
Elizabeth’s time there was a _Dane_ in London, of whom the following
mention is made in a collection of characters, entitled _Looke to it,
for Ile stab ye_ (no date):--

    You that will drinke _Keynaldo_ unto deth,
    The _Dane_ that would carouse out of his boote.

Mr. W. Mason adds that ‘it appears from one of Howell’s letters,
dated at Hamburg in the year 1632, that the then King of Denmark had
not degenerated from his jovial predecessor. In his account of an
entertainment given by his majesty to the Earl of Leicester, he tells
us that the king, after beginning thirty-five toasts, was carried away
in his chair, and that all the officers of the court were drunk.’

See also the _Nugæ Antiquæ_, vol. ii. p. 133, for the scene of
drunkenness introduced into the court of James I. by the King of
Denmark in 1606.

Roger Ascham, in one of his letters, mentions being present at an
entertainment where the Emperor of Germany seemed in drinking to rival
the King of Denmark: ‘The emperor,’ says he, ‘drank the best that ever
I saw; he had his head in the glass five times as long as any of us,
and never drank less than a good quart at once of Rhenish wine.’

IV. That Shakespeare regarded English drunkenness as influenced by our
intercourse with the Low Countries. Thus, _Merry Wives of Windsor_, act
ii. scene 2, Mistress Page calls Falstaff a _Flemish drunkard_. The
Variorum Edition of 1803 has the following note:--

    It is not without reason that this term of reproach is here used.
    Sir John Smythe, in _Certain Discourses, &c._, 4to. 1590, says
    that ‘the habit of drinking to excess was introduced into England
    from the low countries by some of our such men of warre within
    these very few years, whereof it is come to passe, that now-a-dayes
    there are very fewe feastes where our said men of warre are
    present, but that they do invite and procure all the companie,
    of what calling soever they be, to carowsing and quaffing; and,
    because they will not be denied their challenges, they, with many
    new conges, ceremonies, and reverences, drinke to the health of
    counsellors, and unto the health of their greatest friends both at
    home and abroad, in which exercise they never cease till they be
    deade drunke, or, as the _Flemings_ say, _doot drunken_.’ He adds,
    ‘And this aforesaid detestable vice hath, within these six or seven
    yeares, taken wonderful roote amongst our English nation, that in
    times past was wont to be of all other nations of christendome one
    of the soberest.’

V. That whatever the Danes were, the English were worse.

In _Othello_ we have a terrible reputation. Thus:--

Act ii. scene 3. The double-dyed Iago has tempted honest foolish Cassio
to drink with him, in spite of Cassio’s very honest confession, ‘I have
very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish courtesy
would invent some other custom of entertainment.’ But Cassio is weak.
On Iago’s urgent pressing, he says, ‘I’ll do it; but it dislikes me.’
He had just before remarked, ‘I have drunk but one cup to-night, and
that was craftily qualified too, and behold what innovation it makes
here [_striking his forehead_]: I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and
dare not task my weakness with any more.’

They passed to the revel. Iago, who is seasoned, calls out:--

                  Some wine, ho!
              And let me the canakin clink, clink;
              And let me the canakin clink:
                  A soldier’s a man;
                  A life’s but a span;
              Why, then, let a soldier drink.
    Some wine, boys.                   [_Wine brought in._

    _Cassio._ ‘Fore heaven, an excellent song.

    _Iago._ I learned it in England, where (indeed) they are most
    potent in potting. Your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied
    Hollander,--Drink, oh!--are nothing to your English.

    _Cassio._ Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

    _Iago._ Why he drinks you with facility your Dane dead drunk; he
    sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he gives your Hollander a
    vomit ere the next pottle can be filled.

    _Cassio._ To the health of our general!

    _Mon._ I am for it, lieutenant, and I’ll do you justice.

    _Iago._ _O sweet England!_

How like is human nature at all periods! Iago’s drinking song reminds
us of the half-gay, half-melancholy campaigning song, said to have been
composed by General Wolfe, and sung by him at the mess-table on the eve
of the storming of Quebec, in which he fell so gloriously:--

    Why, soldiers, why
    Should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why,
    Whose business ‘tis to die?
    For should next campaign
    Send us to Him who made us, boys,
    We’re free from pain;
    But should we remain,
    _A bottle and kind landlady_
    Will set all right again.

This song was a favourite with Sir Walter Scott--see Washington
Irving’s _Abbotsford and Newstead_.

VI. The bane of ardent spirits and of that to which they
conduce--intemperance. Thus _Othello_, act ii. scene 3:--

    O, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their
    brains! that we should, with joy, revel, pleasure, and applause,
    transform ourselves into beasts!

And again--

    O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known
    by, let us call thee--devil!


    Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.

Two customs which are alluded to in Shakespeare’s works are worthy of
note. _Merry Wives of Windsor_, act ii. scene 2.

    _Bard._ Sir John, there’s one Master Brook below would fain speak
    with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a
    morning’s draught of sack.

According to Malone, it seems to have been a common custom at taverns,
in our author’s time, to send presents of wine from one room to
another, either as a memorial of friendship, or (as in the present
instance) by way of introduction to acquaintance. Of the existence of
this practice the following anecdote of Ben Jonson and Bishop Corbet
furnishes a proof: Ben Jonson was at a tavern, and in comes Bishop
Corbet (but not so then) into the next room. Ben Jonson calls for
a quart of _raw_ wine, and gives it to the tapster. “Sirrah,” says
he, “carry this to the gentleman in the next chamber, and tell him,
I sacrifice my service to him.” The fellow did, and in those words.
“Friend,” says Dr. Corbet, “I thank him for his love; but ‘pr’ythe tell
him from me that he is mistaken; for _sacrifices_ are always _burnt_”’
(_Merry Passages and Jeasts_, MSS. Harl. 6395).

This practice was continued as late as the Restoration. In the
Parliamentary History, vol. xxii. p. 114, we have the following passage
from Dr. Price’s _Life of General Monk_: ‘I came to the _Three Tuns_
before Guildhall, where the general had quartered two nights before.
I entered the tavern with a servant and portmanteau, and asked for a
room, which I had scarce got into, _but wine followed me as a present_
from some citizens, desiring leave to drink their morning’s draught
with me.’

The other custom to be noted is that of taking _night-caps_. _Macbeth_,
act i. scene 2.

    _Lady Macbeth._ I have drugged their possets.

It appears from this passage as well as from many others in our old
dramatic performances, that it was the general custom to take _possets_
just before bed-time. So in the first part of _King Edward IV._, by
Heywood: ‘thou shalt be welcome to beef and bacon, and perhaps a
bag-pudding; and my daughter Nell shall pop a _posset_ upon thee when
thou goest to bed.’ Macbeth has already said:--

    Go bid thy mistress, when my _drink_ is ready,
    She strike upon the bell.

Lady Macbeth has also just observed:--

    That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold.

And in _The Merry Wives of Windsor_ Mrs. Quickly promises Jack Rugby a
_posset_ at night. This custom is also mentioned by Froissart.

One more quotation I cannot refrain from adding. It is not from
Shakespeare, but from one who had studied him, and who, if nothing
else, could certainly parody the ‘seven ages of man’ (_As You Like It_,
act ii. scene 7).

    STAGES OF DRUNKENNESS.--All the world’s a pub,
    And all the men and women merely drinkers;
    They have their hiccoughs and their staggerings;
    And one man in a day drinks many glasses,
    His acts being seven stages. At first the gentleman,
    Steady and steadfast in his good resolves;
    And then the wine and bitters, appetiser,
    And pining, yearning look, leaving like a snail
    The comfortable bar. And then the arguments,
    Trying like Hercules with a wrathful frontage
    To refuse one more two penn’orth. Then the mystified,
    Full of strange thoughts, unheeding good advice,
    Careless of honour, sudden, thick, and gutt’ral,
    Seeking the troubled repetition
    Even in the bottle’s mouth; and then quite jovial,
    In fair good humour while the world swims round
    With eyes quite misty, while his friends him cut,
    Full of nice oaths and awful bickerings;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth stage shifts
    Into the stupid, slipping, drunken man,
    With ‘blossoms’ on his nose and bleery-eyed,
    His shrunken face unshaved, from side to side
    He rolls along; and his unmanly voice,
    Huskier than ever, fails and flies,
    And leaves him--staggering round. Last scene of all,
    That ends this true and painful history,
    Is stupid childishness, and then oblivion--
    Sans watch, sans chain, sans coin, sans everything.

It is impossible to dismiss Shakespeare without some notice of the
man himself. But how little is known apart from his works![107] Go to
Stratford-on-Avon, visit ‘the birthplace;’ bear those good ladies who
show it tell you of the eight villages immortalised by their supposed
connection with the poet; hear them repeat the lines ascribed by
tradition to Shakespeare himself:--

    Piping Pebworth, dancing Marston,
    Haunted Hillborough, hungry Grafton,
    Dudging Exhall, Popish Wickford,
    Beggarly Broom, and drunken Bidford.

Hear them tell the story of Shakespeare’s crab-tree, how that the
young poet was one of a party who accepted a challenge for a drinking
bout from certain topers at Bidford, how that the hero became so
overcome that when he started home he could proceed no further than
the crab-tree, and so lay down there and sheltered for the night.[108]
Hear, too, of ‘ye Falcon Tavern,’ close to the grammar school where
the poet was almost certainly educated. And this is all that the
present limit allows.

How died he? We turn to the pages of an inimitable diary, and read thus:

    After this act (referring to the making of his will) we surmise
    the poet’s strength rallied, his friends probably heard of his
    illness, and crowded around him.... Then came Ben Jonson and
    Drayton, his chosen ones--they shared his inmost heart. In the
    city, on the stage, at good men’s feasts.... Their minds had been
    as one. Shakespeare was sick, and they came to cheer, to sooth,
    to sympathize with his sufferings. Animated and excited by their
    long-tried and much-loved society, as the sound of the trumpet
    rouses the spirit of the dying war-horse, their presence and voices
    made him forget the weakness that even then was bowing him to the
    very dust. He left his chamber, and perhaps quitted his bed to join
    the circle; we think we hear him, with musical voice, exclaim,
    ‘Sick now! droop now!’ We imagine we behold his pale face flushed
    with the brilliant animation of happiness, but not of health. We
    see his eyes flashing with the rays of genius, and sparkling with
    sentiments of unmingled pleasure. He is himself again, the terrors
    of death are passed away, the festive banquet is spread, and the
    warm grasp of friendly hands have driven the thick coming fancies
    from his lightened heart; he is the life of the party, the spirit
    of the feasts; but the exertion was far too great for his fragile
    frame, ‘the choice of death is rare,’ and the destroyer quitted not
    his splendid victim.[109]

So passed away William Shakespeare, whose influence cannot be better
summed up than in the words of a very thoughtful writer:--

    In all his works he is a witness ever ready to declare and expose
    the ruling sin of his day and generation. It is true that he
    sometimes found a picture gallery among the drunkards, used them in
    his artistic way, and made them extol the virtues of the thing that
    lowered them to what they were, the buffoons of his creation; but
    in his heart of hearts, as he would himself express it, he abhorred
    the thing, while he could not resist the acknowledgment of its

The same cannot be said of his friend, Ben Jonson, who, like so many
of the dramatists of the period, as Marlowe, Greene, and Nash, was a
notoriously free liver. His naturally passionate disposition, so unlike
that of his famous friend, was rendered more hasty and vindictive
by his addiction to drink. He goes near to condemn himself in his
apostrophe ‘To Penshurst’:--

              Whose liberal board doth flow
    With all that hospitality doth know!
    Where comes no guest but is allowed to eat
    Without his fear, and of my lord’s own meat;
    Where the same beer and bread, and self-same wine,
    That is his lordship’s shall be also mine.
    And I not fain to sit--as some this day
    At great men’s tables--and yet dine away.
    Here no man tells my cups.

To him canary was

    The very elixir and spirit of wine.

He could say, though not in the original intention,

    Wine is the word that glads the heart of man,
    And mine’s the house of wine. Sack, says my bush,
    Be merry and drink sherry, that is my posie.

The following are

_Ben Jonson’s Sociable Rules for the Apollo._

    Let none but guests, or clubbers, hither come.
    Let dunces, fools, sad sordid men keep home.
    Let learned, civil, merry men, b’invited,
    And modest too; nor be choice ladies slighted.
    Let nothing in the treat offend the guests;
    More for delight than cost prepare the feast.
    The cook and purvey’r must our palates know;
    And none contend who shall sit high or low.
    Our waiters must quick-sighted be, and dumb,
    And let the drawers quickly hear and come.
    Let not our wine be mix’d, but brisk and neat,
    Or else the drinkers may the vintners beat.
    And let our only emulation be,
    Not drinking much, but talking wittily.
    Let it be voted lawful to stir up
    Each other with a moderate chirping cup;
    Let not our company be or talk too much;
    On serious things, or sacred, let’s not touch
    With sated heads and bellies. Neither may
    Fiddlers unask’d obtrude themselves to play,
    With laughing, leaping, dancing, jests, and songs,
    And whate’er else to grateful mirth belongs,
    Let’s celebrate our feasts; and let us see
    That all our jests without reflection be.
    Insipid poems let no man rehearse,
    Nor any be compelled to write a verse.
    All noise of vain disputes must he forborne,
    And let no lover in a corner mourn,
    To fight and brawl, like hectors, let none dare,
    Glasses or windows break, or hangings tear,
    Whoe’er shall publish what’s here done or said
    From our society must be banishèd;
    Let none by drinking do or suffer harm,
    And, while we stay, let us be always warm.

In one of his plays he absurdly compares the host of the ‘New Inn’ to
one of those stone jugs called ‘Long Beards.’

    Who’s at the best some round grown thing--_a jug_
    _Fac’d with a beard_, that fills out to the guests.

These stone vessels may be recognised as glazed, of a mottled brown
colour, with a narrow neck and wide-spreading belly, a rudely executed
face with a long flowing beard, and a handle behind. Mr. Chaffers, from
whom this description is taken, says that these vessels were in general
use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at public-houses, to
serve ale to the customers. The largest size held eight pints. Some of
them bore coats-of-arms. They were also called _Bellarmines_, after the
celebrated cardinal who so opposed the progress of the reformers that
he incurred the hatred of the Protestants, who manifested their rancour
by satire such as this bottle, which figured a hard-featured son of

In the _Cynthia’s Revels_ of Ben Jonson, occurs an allusion to that
hideous custom, the practice of which he attributes to a representative
lover stabbing himself, drinking a health, and writing languishing
letters in his blood. In the _Humorous Lieutenant_ of Beaumont and
Fletcher, allusion is made to the same practice of gentlemen cutting
and stabbing themselves, and mingling their blood with the wine in
which they toasted their mistresses. In the _Merchant of Venice_ the
Prince of Morocco, with the same meaning, speaks of ‘making an incision
for love.’ Jonson occupied the president’s chair in the Apollo room in
the _Devil_ Tavern (on the site of which is Child’s bank), surrounded
by the ‘eruditi, urbani, hilares, honesti,’ of that age. A contemporary
dramatist, Shakerly Marmion, describes him thus:--

                The boon Delphic god
    Drinks _sack_, and keeps his Bacchanalia,
    And has his incense and his altars smoking,
    And speaks in sparkling prophecies.

The tavern to which Ben gave such a lasting reputation had for a sign
the Devil, and St. Dunstan twigging his nose with a pair of hot tongs.
Over the chimney inside were engraved in black marble his _leges
conviviales_, and over the door some verses by the same hand, which
wind up with a eulogistic encomium upon wine.

    Ply it, and you all are mounted,
    ‘Tis the true Phœbian liquor,
    Cheers the brains, makes wit the quicker;
    Pays all debts, cures all diseases,
    And at once three senses pleases.[110]

Two authors, who would well bear comparison, remain to be
mentioned--Barnabie Googe and Thomas Tusser. The latter was a georgical
poet of great popularity in the sixteenth century. His poems were
faithful pictures of the domestic life of the English farmer of his
day. He concerns us now simply for his belief in the strengthening
virtues of the hop. Among his ‘Directions for Cultivating a Hop
Garden,’ we find:--

    The hop for his profit I thus do exalt,
    It strengtheneth drink, and it favoureth malt;
    And being well brewed, long kept it will last,
    And drawing abide--if ye draw not too fast.

His entire poem, after considerable expansion, appeared under the title
of _Five Hundreth Points of Good Husbandrie_.

Googe wrote upon the same subject.[111] We can glean from him some
useful information upon the culture of the vine in England. He says:--

    We might have a reasonable good wine growing in many places of this
    realme; as undoubtedly wee had immediately after the Conquest;
    tyll partly by slouthfulnesse, not liking anything long that is
    painefull, partly by civil discord long-continuying, it was left,
    and so with tyme lost, as appeareth by a number of places in this
    realme that keepe still the name of vineyardes; and uppon many
    cliffes and hilles are yet to be seene the rootes and olde remaynes
    of vines. There is besides Nottingham an auncient house, called
    Chilwell, in which house remayneth yet, as an auncient monument, in
    a great wyndowe of glasse, the whole order of planting, pruyning,
    stamping, and pressing of vines. Beside there is yet also growing
    an old vine, that yields a grape sufficient to make a right good
    wine, as was lately proved. There hath, moreover, good experience
    of late yeears been made, by two noble and honorable barons of this
    realme, the lorde Cobham and the lorde Willyams of Tame, who had
    both growyng about their houses as good wines as are in many parts
    of Fraunce.


[87] Cf. the Act of 1536 which speaks of ‘sakkes and other sweete

[88] ‘Now, many kinds of _sacks_ are known and used.’ Howell.
_Londinopolis_, p. 103. The palm-sack, which Ben Jonson speaks of, is
from Palma Island, one of the Canary group.

[89] Bancroft, _Two Bookes of Epigrammes and Epitaphs_, 1639.

[90] Another variety of this second version is ‘Turkeys, carps, hops,
piccarel, and beer.’ Anderson. _Hist. of Commerce_, vol. i., p. 354.

[91] See _Losely Manuscripts_, and other Rare Documents minutely
illustrating English History, Biography, and Manners from Henry VIII.
to James I., preserved in the Muniment Room at Losely House, edited
with Notes by A. J. Kempe.

[92] Camden Society reprint of the _Rutland Papers_.

[93] _Tusser Redivivus_ (1744), p. 81.

[94] _Christen State of Matrimony_ (1543).

[95] _The Anatomie of Abuses_ (1583).

[96] This song is given in Washington’s Irving’s _Sketch Book_, in its
original orthography.

[97] _Midsummer Night’s Dream_, act 2, scene i. Cf. Knight, _Pict.
Hist._, vol. ii. _Gent. Magazine_, May 1784.

[98] Herrick: _Poems_.

[99] Scott, _Lay of the Last Minstrel_. Cf. also _Christmas with the
Poets_; and the ‘Old and Young Courtier’ in the _Percy Reliques_.

[100] In the time of Henry IV. there was a club called ‘La Court de
bone Compagnie,’ of which Occleve was a member, and perhaps Chaucer.
The word _club_ is connected with _cleave_, which has the twofold
meaning of _split and adhere_; reminding one of the equivalent words
_partner_ and _associe_, the former pointing to the _division_ of
profits, the latter to the _community_ of interests. Cf. Timbs, _Club

[101] Camden’s assertion will be found criticised towards the end of
this book.

[102] By Richard Carew, 1602.

[103] _Anatomie of Abuses_, 1583.

[104] Naogeorgus, _The Popish Kingdome_, Englyshed by Barnabe Googe.
London, 1570.

[105] Gascoigne: _The Steele Glas: A Satyre_, 1576.

[106] Since writing the present sketch, the attitude of Shakespeare
to temperance has been carefully considered and dealt with in a work
entitled _Shakespeare on Temperance_, by Frederick Sherlock.

[107] All that can possibly be verified has been investigated by
the indefatigable energy and industry, extending over nearly half a
century, of J. O. Halliwell Phillipps Esq., F.R.S., of Hollingbury
Copse, Brighton.

[108] Cf. Knight, _Old England_, vol. ii.; and C. F. Green,
_Shakespeare’s Crab Tree_.

[109] Diary of the Rev. John Ward (arranged by Charles Severn, 1839).

[110] George Daniel, _Merrie England in the Olden Time_.

[111] _Foure Bookes of Husbandry, 1578._



In entering upon this period it will be necessary to consider, in the
first place, what were the drinks chiefly in use. A pamphlet, bearing
the date 1612, enumerates a number of the wines then popular:--

    Some drinking the neat wine of Orleance, some the Gasgony, some the
    Bordeaux. There wanted neither sherry sack, nor Charneco, Malyfo,
    nor amber-coloured Candy, nor liquorish Ipocras, brown beloved
    Bastard, fat Aligant, nor any quick-spirited liquor.[112]

That Spanish wines of the Sacke species were now especial favourites,
is evident from an ordinance of James I.:--

    Whereas, in times past, Spanish wines, called sacke, were little or
    no whit used in our court, and that in late years, though not of
    ordinary allowance, it was thought convenient that such noblemen
    and women and others of account, as had diet in the court, upon
    their necessities by sicknesse or otherwise, might have a bowle or
    glasse of sacke, and so no great quantity spent; we understanding
    that within these late years it is used as common to all order,
    using it rather for wantonnesse and surfeiting than for necessity,
    to a great and wasteful expense.... Our pleasure is that there be
    allowed to the serjeant of our seller 12 gallons of sacke a day,
    and no more.

The fashion of Malmsey had passed away, and the Hungarian red wine
(Ofener) had taken its place. It came by Breslau to Hamburg, whence
it was shipped to England. Very little Hungarian wine used to be made
with a view to exportation. Now many sorts find their way to this
country, notably the Carlowitz. The wine-jurors of the 1862 Exhibition
reported:--‘Great expectations have been formed of the capability of
Hungary as a wine supplying country. The produce is large, amounting to
nearly 250,000,000 gallons yearly. Many of the wines are good, but more
careful treatment is generally required.’ At one time only imperial
Tokay was known in England as the produce of that country.[113]

Hock was also in high repute:

    What wine is it? Hock,
    By the mass, brave wine.[114]

Besides wine, beer and spirits were both adopted. Spirits used to
be called _strong waters_, and _comfortable waters_; thus, when Sir
George Summers of Lyme, in 1609, was driven before a hurricane, which
led to his discovery of the Bermudas, there appeared no hope of saving
the ship, so waterlogged was she. In this extremity, those who had
‘comfortable waters’ drank to one another as taking their last leaves.

Ale and beer were both in common use. But a new kind arose in
competition. Dr. Butler, physician to James I., and, according to
Fuller, the Æsculapius of that age, invented a kind of medicated ale,
called _Dr. Butler’s Ale_, which used to be sold at houses that had the
‘Butler’s Head’ for a sign.[115]

But to pass from the _quid_ to the _quatenus_, as Bishop Andrewes
would say. Were these liquors drunk to excess? We should suspect
that such would be the case, knowing the example of the Court, and
remembering that not a little of the literature of the time abetted
free living, whilst, at the same time, legislative restriction and
ecclesiastical monition were rife, and in certain quarters, both
clerical and lay, these excesses were vehemently anathematised.

Yes, the legislative, we shall find, was active, far more active than
the executive, as appears from the renewal of an important statute in
the same reign, just as though it had utterly ceased to be in force.
The king showed great desire to enforce several statutes, but the
difficulty lay in the fact that he was the first to infringe them. In
fact, as Green does not hesitate to aver, the king was known to be
an habitual drunkard; ladies of rank copied the royal manners, and
rolled intoxicated in open court at the king’s feet.[116] His tutor,
Buchanan, was a great drinker; and his nurse is said to have been a
drunkard,[117] which latter circumstance gave him a predisposition
to drink; the relation of cause and effect in such cases being
established. Dr. Mitchell, one of the Lunacy Commissioners, stated
in evidence before the Select Committee on Habitual Drunkards in
1872: ‘It is quite certain that the children of habitual drunkards
are in a larger proportion idiotic than other children, and in a
larger proportion themselves habitual drunkards.’[118] The king’s
hereditary tendency was not improved by his connection with Denmark.
In the carouses with which that Court celebrated the royal nuptials,
James increased that proclivity for heavy drinking to which most of
his follies may be traced. He dates his letters ‘From the castle of
Cronenburg, quhaire, we are drinking and driving _our_ in the auld
manner.’ The same influence followed him to his own dominions. A tavern
sign, ‘The King of Denmark,’ perpetuates to this day a royal visit
which was celebrated with unparalleled orgies. It will be remembered
that James I. married a sister of Christian IV., king of Denmark.[119]
In 1606 the Danish king, Christian, paid a visit to this country. He
and his brother-in-law, James, were invited to a festival at Theobalds,
the seat of the Prime Minister Cecil, Earl of Salisbury. The revellings
there were disgraced by scenes of intemperance which have acquired
historical notoriety. The queen was by necessity absent at the time
when the kings were abandoning themselves to unrestrained excess. Mr.
Samuelson, in his _History of Drink_, has fallen into the error of
certain writers of the last century who have accused Queen Anne of the
derelictions from propriety committed on this occasion by a certain
_queen_, who, having taken too much, reeled against the steps of King
Christian’s throne. But, as is pointed out by Strickland, this _queen_
was only the Queen of Sheba, personated by a female servant of the
Earl of Salisbury, and not the Queen of Great Britain, as any one may
ascertain who reads Sir John Harrington’s letter, the sole document on
which is founded the mistaken accusation of intemperance against the
queen of James I. The story has been often told in whole or part, but
it may be well to produce the original.[120]

    Those whom I never could get to taste good liquor now ... wallow in
    beastly delights. The ladies abandon sobriety, and are seen to roll
    about in intoxication. After dinner, the representation of Solomon,
    his temple, and the coming of the Queen of Sheba was made.... The
    lady who did play the queen’s part did carry most precious gifts
    to both their majesties, but forgetting the steppes arising to
    the canopy, overset her caskets in his Danish Majesty’s lap, and
    fell at his feet, though I rather think it was on his face. Much
    was the hurry and confusion--cloths and napkins were at hand to
    make all clean. His Majesty then got up, and would dance with the
    Queen of Sheba, but he fell down and humbled himself before her and
    was carried to his inner chamber. The entertainment and show went
    forward, and most of the presenters went backward or fell down,
    wine did so occupy their upper chambers.

Much more is told, but one sentence is pregnant: ‘The gunpowder fright
is out of all our heads, and we are going on hereabouts, as if the
devil were contriving every man should blow up himself by wild riot,
excess, and devastation of wine and intemperance.’

The queen was not present; indeed, she was not even a guest of the
earl at this time, but was confined to her chamber sick and sad at
Greenwich Palace. At a banquet on the Thames, however, given soon after
by her royal brother, the queen was present. They pledged each other to
continued friendship. To each pledge, drum, trumpet, and cannon were
responsive. Shakespeare describes a similar scene:

    No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
    But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell.

Such pledges of friendship seem almost typical of the happy event of
1863, to which Jean Ingelow so exquisitely alludes in her ‘Wedding

    Come up the broad river, the Thames, my Dane,
    My Dane, with the beautiful eyes.
           *       *       *       *       *
    And they said, ‘He is young, the lad we love,
    The heir of the Isles is young;
    How we deem of his mother, and one gone above,
    Can neither be said nor sung.
    He brings us a pledge--he will do his part
    With the best of his race and name;’
    And I will, for I look to live, sweetheart,
    As may suit with Thy mother’s fame.

But, taking leave of the court, let us proceed to discover the manners
of the people, from contemporary authors and dramatists. Much is
to be gleaned from the voluminous writings of Thomas Decker, whose
pamphlets and plays, the _Quarterly Review_ once said, would furnish
a more complete view of the habits and customs of his contemporaries
in vulgar and middle life than could easily be collected from all the
grave annals of the times. His _Seven Deadly Sins of London_, published
in 1606, is a mighty invective against the iniquity of the day. It
has been well remarked in the introduction to Arber’s reprint of the
work, how much the mind of the writer was imbued with the style of
the old Hebrew prophets, and how sure he was that that style would
find a response in the hearts of his readers. For instance, how like
the ‘burden of the Word of the Lord’ is his apostrophe to London--‘_O
London_, thou art great in glory, and envied for thy greatness. Thou
art the goodliest of thy neighbours, but the proudest, the wealthiest,
the most wanton.... Thou sit’st in thy gates heated with wines.’ In
his account of the third deadly sin, he speaks of wines, Spanish
and French, meeting in the cellar, conspiring together to lay the
_Englishman_ under the board. Perhaps his finest effort of prosopopæia
is his impersonation of sloth, whom he represents as giving licences to
all the vintners to ‘keepe open house, and to emptye their hogsheades
to all commers, who did so, dyeing their grates into a drunkard’s blush
(to make them knowe from gates of a prison) lest customers should
reele away from them, and hanging out new bushes, that if men at their
going out could not see the signe, yet they might not lose themselves
in the bush.... And as _drunkennesse_ when it least can stand, does
best hold up ale-houses, so _sloth_ is a founder of the alms-houses,
... and is a good benefactor to these last.’ To call attention to this
author’s notices of such _rules of drunkenness_ as Vpsy-Freeze, Crambo,
Parmizant, &c., would be beside the present object; but the book will
amply repay study, and serve as a commentary on Defoe’s _Plague of
London_. Several other of his works bear upon the present theme, _e.g._
_The Batchelor’s Banquet_, _Lanthorne and Candle Light_, and _English
Villanies prest to Death_.

A writer quite as voluminous, and equally with Decker a scourge of
iniquity, was George Wyther (persistently called by so many--Hazlitt
and Brand among the number--Wythers). In 1613 he brought out his
satirical essays, _Abuses Stript and Whipt_, the truth and beauty of
which, to his honour be it said, touched the heart of Charles Lamb, who

    The game run down is coarse general vice, or folly as it appears in
    classes. A liar, a drunkard, a coxcomb, is _stript and whipt_....
    To a well-natured mind, there is a charm of moral sensibility
    running through them. Wither seems everywhere bursting with a love
    of goodness, and a hatred of all low and base actions. At this day
    it is hard to discover what parts in the poem _Abuses Stript_ could
    have occasioned the imprisonment of the author. Was vice in high
    places more suspicious than now?

Reference has already been made to the allusion in this work of Wither
to the custom of _Hock-tide_. He ridicules the notion of such an
observance and that of _ales_ subserving the devotion of youth, and
indignantly asks,--

    What will they do, I say, that think to please
    Their mighty God with such fond things as these?
    Sure, very ill.

In this same work occurs an allusion to the then common practice of
inserting _toast_ into ale with nutmeg and sugar:--

    Will he will drinke, yet but a draught at most,
    That must be spiced with a _nut-browne tost_.

The origin of the word _toast_ is much disputed, as is elsewhere
observed, and no better account of it is forthcoming than that the word
was taken from the toast which was put into the tankard, and which
still floats in the loving cup. Hence the person named was the toast or
savour of the wine, that which gives the draught piquancy.

Many other of the drinking customs of the day are criticised, but
not all with censure. The ode to Christmas, for instance, contrasts
strongly with his later puritanical sentiments. Neither sectarian gloom
nor civil struggles had yet enveloped the author when he wrote,--

    Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
    And let us all be merry.
    Hark how the roofs with laughter sound!
    Anon they’ll think the house goes round,
    For they the cellars’ depth have found,
      And there they will be merry,

which introduces a stanza upon _wassailing_. A change must have come
over his dream before he wrote his second ode on the same subject,
which alone would entitle him to the encomiums of Hazlitt or any other

Far more unqualified denunciation of seventeenth century excess is to
be found in a volume by Thomas Young (1617), entitled _England’s Bane,
or the Description of Drunkennesse_. He says,--

    There are in London drinking schooles: so that drunkennesse is
    professed with us as a liberall arte and science.... I have seene a
    company amongst the very woods and forests drinking for a _muggle_.
    Sixe determined to trie their strengths who could drinke most
    glasses for the muggle. The first drinkes a glasse of a pint, the
    second two, the next three, and so every one multiplieth till the
    last taketh sixe. Then the first beginneth againe and taketh seven,
    and in this manner they drinke thrice a peece round, every man
    taking a glasse more than his fellow, so that he that dranke least,
    which was the first, drank one and twenty pints, and the sixth man

Scarcely less absurd than these laws of drunkenness, are the laws of
health-drinking as described by Barnaby Rich in his work published
1619, the title of which is an excellent preface to the subject-matter,
‘_The Irish Hubbub, or the English Hue and Crie_; briefly pursuing the
base conditions and most notorious offences of this vile, vaine, and
wicked age. No less smarting than tickling,’ &c. The following is his
description of toasting laws:--

    He that beginneth the health hath his prescribed orders; first
    uncovering his head, hee takes a full cup in his hand, and settling
    his countenance with a grave aspect, hee craves for audience;
    silence being once obtained, hee begins to breath out the name
    peradventure of some honourable personage that is worthy of a
    better regard than to have his name polluted amongst a company of
    drunkards; but his healthe is drunke to, and hee that pledgeth must
    likewise off with his cap, kisse his fingers, and bowing himselfe
    in signe of a reverent acceptance. When the leader sees his
    follower thus prepared, he soups up his broath, turnes the bottom
    of the cup upward, and in ostentation of his dexteritie, gives the
    cup a phillip, to make it cry _twango_. And thus the first scene
    is acted. The cup being newly replenished, to the breadthe of an
    haire, he that is the pledger must now beginne his part, and thus
    it goes round throughout the whole company, provided alwaies by a
    cannon set downe by the founder, there must be three at the least
    still uncovered, till the health hath had the full passage, which
    is no sooner ended, but another begins againe, and he drinks a
    health, &c.

It appears from another author, that this method was accounted a
procedure _in order_, for he adds, ‘It is drunke _without order_ when
the course or method of order is not observed, and that the cup passeth
on to whomsoever we shall appoint.’ Drink is the burden of the songs
of this hilarious writer, who is usually, known by the sobriquet of
Drunken Barnaby (or Barnabea) from the titles he himself employed. It
is curiously illustrative of the hold that convivial phrases had upon
the popular mind that we find a pious divine solemnly quoting the words
of a suffering Christian, one Lawrence Saunders, to this effect,--‘My
Saviour began to mee in a bitter cup, and shall not I _pledge_ Him?’
[_i.e._ drink the same cup of sorrow]. The divine just alluded to,
Dr. Samuel Ward, of Ipswich, in his sermon (1685) entitled ‘Woe to
Drunkards,’ anathematises _toasting_: ‘Abandon that foolish and vicious
custome, as Ambrose and Basil call it, of drinking healths, and making
that a sacrifice to God for the health of others, which is rather a
sacrifice to the devil, and a bane of their owne.’

But this kind of appeal was by no means confined to the pulpit. Robert
Burton, the famous author of the _Anatomy of Melancholy_ (1621), who
cannot be accused of being strait-laced (at any rate, Anthony Wood
speaks of his company as very merry, facete, and juvenile), in his
pungent chapter on Dyet as a cause of melancholy, exclaims,--

    What immoderate drinking in every place! How they flock to the
    tavern! as if they were born to no other end but to eat and drink,
    as so many casks to hold wine; yea, worse than a cask, that marrs
    wine, and itself is not marred by it.... ‘Tis now come to that
    pass, that he is no gentleman, a very milk-sop, that will not
    drink, fit for no company.... No disparagement now to stagger in
    the streets, reel, rave, &c., but much to his renown.... ‘Tis the
    _summum bonum_ of our tradesmen, their felicity, life, and soul,
    to be merry together in an ale-house or tavern, as our modern
    Muscovites do in their mede-inns, and Turks in their coffee-houses.
    They will labour hard all day long, to be drunk at night, and spend
    _totius anni labores_ in a tippling feast.... How they love a man
    that will be drunk, crown him, and honour him for it, hate him
    that will not pledge him, stab him, kill him: a most intolerable
    offence, and not to be forgiven.

Again, in his chapter on ‘Mirth and Merry Company,’ he warns,--

    But see the mischief; many men, knowing that merry company is the
    only medicine against melancholy, will therefore neglect their
    business, and spend all their days among good fellows in a tavern,
    and know not otherwise how to bestow their time but in drinking;
    malt-worms, men-fishes, or water-snakes, like so many frogs in a
    puddle.... Flourishing wits and men of good parts, good fashion,
    and good worth, basely prostitute themselves to every rogue’s
    company to take tobacco and drink.... They drown their wits, seeth
    their brains in ale, consume their fortunes, lose their time,
    weaken their temperatures, contract filthy diseases, rheumes,
    dropsies, calentures, tremor, get swoln juglars, pimpled red faces,
    sore eyes, &c.; heat their livers, alter their complexions, spoil
    their stomachs, overthrow their bodies (for drink drowns more than
    the sea and all the rivers that fall into it), mere funges and
    casks--confound their souls, suppress reason, go from Scylla to

If such were the avowed expressions of Burton, we shall not wonder
to find such men as George Herbert and Bishop Hall vehement in
denunciation of the same bane.

    Because luxury is a very visible sin, the parson is very careful
    to avoid all the kinds thereof, _but especially that of drinking,
    because it is the most popular vice_; into which if he come,
    he prostitutes himself both to shame, and sin, and by having
    fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, he disableth
    himself of authority to reprove them: for sins make all equal whom
    they find together; and then they are worst, who ought to be best.
    Neither is it for the servant of Christ to haunt inns, or taverns,
    or ale-houses, to the dishonour of his person and office.[124]

This passage is quoted to call attention to the words italicised (not
by Herbert), _‘because it is the most popular vice_;’ an independent
confirmation of the excessive drinking in the reign of James I.

Again, in _The Parson in Journey_, chapter xvii.,--

    When he comes to any house, where his kindred or other relations
    give him any authority over the family, if he be to stay for a
    time, he considers diligently the state thereof to God-ward, and
    that in two points: First, what disorders there are either in
    apparel, or diet, _or too open a buttery_, &c.

The meaning of the words italicised is mistaken by the occasional
annotator to Bohn’s edition, who explains it, ‘A repository or
store-room for certain provisions.’ But in Elizabethan and Jacobean
times, _buttery_ always meant the place where the beer (or wine) was
kept. Evidence is forthcoming from our dramatists of those periods.

(1) Maria, in _Twelfth Night_ (act i., scene 3), says to the
unfortunate butt Sir Andrew Ague-cheek, ‘I pray you bring your hand to
the buttery bar and let it drink.’

(2) Middleton, in _A Trick to Catch the Old One_ (Ed. Dyce, vol. ii.),
has a clear proof, in the words, ‘Go, and wash your lungs i’ th’

From Herbert’s _Jacula Prudentum_ may be extracted--

          A drunkard’s purse is a bottle.
          Choose not a house near an inn.
      Take heed of the vinegar of sweet wine.
    The wine in the bottle doth not quench thirst.
    A morning sun, and a wine-bred child, and a
    Latin-bred woman, seldom end well.

Once more, from the _Church Porch_,--

    Drink not the third glasse, which thou canst not tame
    When once it is within thee; but before
    Mayst rule it, as thou list: and poure the shame,
    Which it would poure on thee, upon the floore.
      It is most just to throw that on the ground
      Which would throw me there, if I keep the round.

    He that is drunken may his mother kill
    Bigge with his sister: he hath lost the reins,
    Is outlaw’d by himselfe; all kinde of ill
    Did with his liquor slide into his veins.
      The drunkard forfets Man, and doth divest
      All worldly right, save what he hath by beast.

    Shall I, to please another’s wine-sprung minde,
    Lose all mine own? God hath giv’n me a measure
    Short of his canne, and bodie.
           *       *       *       *       *
    Be not a beast in courtesie, but stay,
    Stay at the third cup, or forego the place.
    Wine above all things doth God’s stamp efface.

Bishop Hall was unsparing in his lashes of the vices of his time, and
amongst these of intemperance. We hear him in verse and prose, in
critique and sermon. Thus, in his _Satire on the Stage_,[125]--

    Soon as the sun sends out his piercing beams
    Exhale out filthy smoke and stinking streams,
    So doth the base and the fore-barren brain,
    Soon as the raging wine begins to reign.

In his _Contemplation_ on Lot he remarks, ‘Drunkenness is the way to
all bestial affections and acts. Wine knows no difference either of
persons or sins.’ In his sermon preached at Paul’s Cross, on Good
Friday, 1609, we find ‘Every of our sins is a thorn, and nail, and
spear to Him; while thou pourest down thy drunken carouses, thou
givest thy Saviour a portion of gall.’ Why are not the preachers of
to-day equally outspoken? One of his apophthegms can scarcely be
forgotten:[126] ‘When drinke is in, wit is out; but if wit were not
out, drinke would not be in;’ and, lastly,--

    Wine is a mocker. When it goes plausibly in, no man can know how it
    will rage and tyrannise. He that receives that traitor within his
    gates shall too late complain of surprisal. It insinuates sweetly,
    but in the end it bites like a serpent and hurts like a cockatrice.
    Even good Uriah is made drunk. The holiest may be overtaken.

But it is time to pass from precept to _law_.

In 1603 the power of licensing inns and ale-houses was granted by
letters patent to certain persons, in which it was enacted that no
victualler could sell less than one full quart of the best ale for one
penny, and two quarts of the smaller sort for the same. The preamble of
the statute of 1604 is most valuable for the information it affords as
to what the ancient Parliaments considered to be the legitimate use of
a tavern.

    Whereas the ancient, true, and principal use of wine, ale-houses,
    and victualling-houses was for the receipt, relief, and lodging
    of wayfaring people travelling from place to place, and for the
    supply of the wants of such people as are not able by greater
    quantities to make their provision of victuals; and not meant for
    entertainment and harbouring of lewd and idle people to spend
    and consume their money and time in lewd and drunken manner: it
    is enacted that only travellers, and travellers’ friends, and
    labourers for one hour at dinner-time or lodgers can receive
    entertainment under penalty.

The statute of 4th James imposes _punishment for drunkenness_:--

    Whereas the loathsome and odious sin of drunkenness is of late
    grown into common use, being the root and foundation of many
    other enormous sins, as bloodshed, stabbing, murder, swearing,
    fornication, adultery, and such like, to the great dishonour
    of God and of our nation, the overthrow of many good arts and
    manual trades, the disabling of divers workmen, and the general
    impoverishing of many good subjects, abusively wasting the good
    creatures of God.

Therefore a fine of five shillings was imposed for intoxication, or
confinement in the stocks for six hours, and for the first offence of
remaining drinking in a person’s own neighbourhood, a fine of three
shillings and fourpence, or the stocks, the penalty being increased for
further offence. The fine, it must be remembered, was worth several
times the same amount imposed now for intoxication, and the high road
to it, tippling, is now passed over. The time prescribed in the stocks
was fixed at six hours, because by that time the statute presumed
the offender would have regained his senses, and not be liable to do
mischief to his neighbours.[127]

Little success can as yet have attended legislation, for in 1609, the
statute, admitting that ‘notwithstanding all former laws and provisions
already made, the inordinate and extreme vice of excessive drinking and
drunkenness doth more and more abound,’ enacts that offenders convicted
against the two last Acts shall be deprived of their licence. Again has
this statute to be renewed in 1623, as though the executive had slept.
Among the grievances that the Parliament of 1621 examined was one that
patents had been granted to Sir Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Michel,
for licensing inns and ale-houses; that great sums of money had been
exacted under pretext of these licences; and that such innkeepers as
presumed to continue their business without satisfying the rapacity of
the patentees, had been severely punished by fine, imprisonment, and
vexatious prosecutions. The patentees were denounced as criminals. They
fled for refuge. Sentence was passed upon them, which, in the case of
Mompesson, was commuted. Many useful hints might be learnt from purely
local legislation from time to time. Indeed, a most useful code might
be formed from a digest of borough enactments. Let one illustration
suffice. We find a local law at Lyme, about this time, to the effect
that no retailer of beer was to sell to any craftsman or servant of the
town, unless he was in company with a stranger. In 1612 it was there
ordered that no one should tipple any one day above one hour in any
house. It merely remains to be noticed that in Cott. MSS. Titus B. III.
Codex chartaceus, in folio, Constans fol. 281, may be found--

    1. A letter of James I. to the magistrates of Southampton; with
    orders for the regulation of ale-houses and victualling-houses,
    Westm., March 3, 1607.

    2. An order of the Queen’s Council for an exact account of all the
    inns, ale-houses, and taverns in the kingdom, towards levying a tax
    upon them for the repairs of Dover harbour. Richmd, July 20, 1577.

    3. An order for the regulation of ale-houses, 1608.

    4. An order of Privy Council for a return concerning the ale-houses
    in different countries, Feb. 19, 1608.

    5. Three letters of the Privy Council, and a paper of directions
    concerning ale-houses. Greenwich, June 30, 1608.[128]

The reign of Charles I. very nearly covers the second quarter of the
seventeenth century. If we had to select a single author as our guide
to the social habits of the time, we should probably at once fix upon
Thomas Heywood, the busiest of dramatic writers, ‘a sort of prose
Shakespeare,’ as Charles Lamb makes bold to say. Of his numerous works,
one is a direct exposure of the then drinking customs.[129] The immense
variety of drinking-cups, as well as the intrinsic value of many of
them, speaks volumes. He describes them as ‘some of elme, some of
box, some of maple, some of holly, &c., mazers, broad-mouth’d dishes,
moggins, whiskins, piggins, cruizes, ale-bowles, wassell-bowles,
court-dishes, tankards, kannes, from a bottle to a pint, from a pint
to a gill. Other bottles we have of leather, but they are most used
amongst the shepheards and harvest-people of the countrey; small jacks
wee have in many ale-houses, of the citie and suburbs, tip’t with
silver, besides the great black jacks and bombards at the court, which
when the Frenchmen first saw, they reported at their returne into their
countrey, that the Englishmen used to drinke out of their bootes: we
have besides, cups made of horns of beasts, of cocker-nuts, of goords,
of the eggs of estriches, others made of the shells of divers fishes
brought from the Indies and other places, and shining like mother of
pearl. Come to plate, every taverne can afford you flat bowls, prounet
cups, beare bowles, beakers; and private householders in the citie,
when they make a feast to entertain their friends, can furnish their
cupboards with flagons, tankards, beere-cups, wine-bowls, some white,
some percell gilt, some gilt all over, some with covers, some without,
of sundry shapes and qualities.’

In the same books occurs the following curious satire:--‘There is now
profest an eighth liberal art or science, called _Ars Bibendi_, _i.e._
the Art of Drinking. The students or professors thereof call a greene
garland, or painted hoope hang’d out, a _colledge_, a sign where there
is lodging, man’s-meate, and horse-meate, an _inne of court_, an _hall_
or an _hostle_, where nothing is sold but ale and tobacco, a _grammar
schoole_; a red or a blue lattice, that they terme _a free schoole_ for
all comers.... The bookes which they studdy, and whose leaves they so
often turne over are for the most part three of the old translation and
three of the new. Those of the old translation--1, The Tankard; 2, The
Black Jacke; 3, The Quart-Pot, Rib’d, or Thorondell. Those of the new
be these: 1, The Jugge; 2, The Beaker; 3, The Double or Single Can, or
Black Pot.’ The same author gives a list of slang phrases then in use,
signifying the being intoxicated. ‘He is foxt, hee is flawed, he is
flustered, hee is suttle, cupshot, he hath seene the French king, he
hath swallowed an havie or a taverne-token, hee hath whipt the cat, he
hath been at the scriveners, and learn’d to make indentures, hee hath
bit his grannam, or is bit by a barne-weesell,’ &c. In another of his
productions, _Shipwreck by Drink_, he describes a drunken scene which
took place in a house that he was passing in which a feast was being

    In the height of their carousing, all their brains
    Warmed with the heat of wine.

And a marvellous piece of description it is. The guests imagine
themselves to be rocked in a vessel during storm, climb bedposts
as though they were masts, turn out the furniture as if casting
ship-lading overboard; another bestrides his fellow to escape,
Arion-like, on the dolphin’s back. The staff of the constable who
enters is considered to be Neptune’s trident, and so forth.

But enough of this author. The habits of his time had evidently
impressed him, and he constantly revives his impression. But it was
no self-formed phantom. Abundance of corroboration is forthcoming.
A political economist of the same date (1627) remarks, ‘This most
monstrous vice is thus defined:--“Drunkenness is the privation of
orderly motion and understanding.” ... But I need not stand much about
the definition of drunkenness, for, with grief I speak it, the taverns,
ale-houses, and the very streets are so full of drunkards in all parts
of this kingdom, that by the sight of them it is better known what this
detestable and odious vice is than by any definition whatsoever.’[130]

Regarding it then as established, that the intemperance of the times of
Elizabeth and James I. was still perpetuated, it is natural to inquire
to what it is to be attributed.

(1) _The attractiveness of the drinks themselves_, a constant factor in
all periods.

Of wines, Canary and sack were in most demand, though these were
constantly terms indifferently used; thus,--

    Some sack, boy.
    Good sherry-sack, sir?
    I meant Canary, sir; what, hast no brains?[131]

The following is the explanation of the confusion in terms:--

    Your best sacks are of Xeres in Spain; your smaller, of Gallicia
    and Portugall; your strong sacks are of the islands of the Canaries
    and of Malligo, and your Muskadine and Malmseys are of many parts,
    of Italy, Greece, and some special islands;[132]

and renders intelligible the following:--

    Two kinsmen near allied to sherry sack,
    Sweet Malligo and delicate Canary.[133]

It is extolled in Beaumont and Fletcher:--

    Give me a cup of sack
    An ocean of sweet sack.

Canary was in great esteem. John Howell praises it as ‘accounted the
richest, the most firm, the best bodied, and lastingest wine: while
French wine pickles meat in the stomach, this is the wine that digests,
and doth not only breed good bloud, but it nutrifieth also, being a
glutinous substantial liquor. Of this wine, if of any other, may be
verified that merry induction, that good wine makes good blood, good
blood causeth good humours, good humours causeth good thoughts, good
thoughts bring forth good works, good works carry a man to heaven;
ergo good wine carrieth a man to heaven. If this be true, surely more
English go to heaven this way than any other, for I think there is more
Canary brought to England than to all the world besides.’[134]

But probably no kind of drink came amiss.

    The Russ drinks quass; Dutch, Lubeck beer,
      And that is strong and mighty;
    The Briton, he metheglin quaffs,
      The Irish _aqua vitæ_;
    The French affects the Orleans grape,
      The Spaniard tastes his sherry;
    The English none of these can ‘scape,
      But he with all makes merry.[135]

(2) The prevailing habit of _toasting_ may be set down as a second
cause, and a powerful factor it must have been in national corruption,
if the case is not overstated by William Prynne,[136] who wrote his
startling book to prove ‘the Drinking and Pledging of Healthes to
be Sinfull and utterly Unlawful unto Christians.’ In his Epistle
Dedicatorie to King Charles I. he urges that his Majesty’s _health_ is
an occasion, apologie, pretence, and justification of excesse.

    Alas! how many thousand persons have been drawne on to
    drunkennesse, drinking their wit out of their heads, their health
    out of their bodies, and God out of their soules, whiles they have
    beene too busy and officious in carrying healthes unto your sacred

Following upon this is an appeal ‘To the Christian Reader,’ in which
he offers six reasons ‘why men are so much infatuated with the odious
sinne of drunkennesse. (_a_) The inbred corruption and practice of
humane nature. (_b_) The power of the Prince of the ayre, who hath
lately gotten such high predominance in the souls of vitious men, that
they doe not only glory in their drunkennesse, proclaiming it unto the
world, but set themselves against the God of Heaven, violating the
very lawes of nature and the very rules of reason. (_c_) The third
reason is, the popular titles given to abettors of intemperance,
_e.g._, good fellow, sociable, joviall boon companion, good natured,
&c.; whilst mottoes of ignominy are applied to the temperate, _e.g._,
Puritanisme, discourtesie, coynesse, singularitie, stoicisme, &c.
(_d_) The fourth reason is the negligence and coldnesse of justices,
magistrates, &c., in the faithful execution of those pious statutes
enacted by the State against this sinne. “If justices were as diligent
to suppresse drunkennesse and _ale-houses_ as they are industrious to
patronise them, the wings of drunkenness would soon be clipt, whereas
now they spread and grow, because the sword of execution clipse them
not.” (_e_) The fifth cause why this gangrene doth so dilate is the
ill example of gentlemen, great men, magistrates, and ministers, who
either approve excesse, or tolerate it in their misgoverned families,
“which are oftentimes made the very theatres of Bacchus, and the
seminaries, sinkes, and puddles of ryot and intemperance, under
pretence of hospitality.” (_f_) The sixth cause assigned is, “Those
common ceremonies, wiles, and stratagems which the deuill and his
drunken rowt have invented, of purpose to alure, force, and draw men
on to excesse of wine.” ... There is no such common bayte to entice
men to intemperance as this idle, heathenish, and hellish ceremonie of
_beginning_, _seconding_, and _pledging_ healthes.’

Prynne then proceeds in the book proper to give fifteen arguments
against health-drinking, drawn out in syllogistic form. Perhaps the
most useful part of the book is the array of quotations from ‘the
Fathers’ against occasions of intemperance; SS. Augustine, Basil,
and Ambrose being most frequently quoted. He vindicates Luther from
a charge laid against him by the Papists, which cannot be omitted.
They put it about ‘that Luther once made a great feast at his house,
to which he invited the chiefest Professours of the Universitie, and
among the rest one Islebius. Dinner being ended, and all of them
somewhat merry, Luther, after the Germane custome, commanded a great
glasse divided with three kindes of circles to be brought unto him;
and out of it he drunke an health in order to all his guesse. When
all of them had drunke, the health came at last to Islebius. Luther
then, in the presence of all the rest, takes this glasse, being filled
up, into his hand, and, shewing it to Islebius, saith: “Islebius, I
drinke this glasse full of wine unto thee, which containes the tenne
commandements to the first circle; the Apostles’ Creed to the second,
the Lord’s Prayer to the third, and the Catechisme to the bottom.” When
he had spoken, he drinkes off the whole glasse at a draught; which
being replenished with wine, he delivers it to Islebius, that he might
pledge him all at a breath, who takes the glasse and drunke it off
onely to the first circle, which did containe the Decalogue--it being
impossible for him to drink any deeper--and then sets downe the glasse
on the table, which hee could not behold againe without horrour: then
said Luther, “I knew full well before, that Islebius could drinke the
Decalogue, but not the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Catechisme.”’

He further cites some canons from ancient Councils; the most important
being Canon xv. of the Council of Lateran, 1215:--‘Let all clergymen
diligently abstain from surfeitings and drunkenness. For which let
them moderate wine from themselves, and themselves from wine. Neither
let any one be urged to drink, since drunkenness doth banish wit and
provoke lust. For which purpose we decree that that abuse shall be
utterly abolished, whereby, in divers quarters, drinkers bind one
another to drink healths or equal cups, and he is most applauded who
quaffs off most carouzes. If any shall offend henceforth in this,
let him be suspended from his benefice and office.’ Again, in the
Provincial Council of Colin, 1536, is the order--‘All parish priests
or ministers are chiefly prohibited, not only surfeiting, riot,
drunkenness, and luxurious feasts, but likewise the drinking of
healths, which they are commanded to banish from their houses by a
General Council.’

Thus much for the habit of toasting; but--

(3) We may assign as the third reason for the prevalent
excess--_Convivial Literature_. The name that first suggests itself is
that of Herrick. It is not only in poems avowedly of this description,
such as ‘The Wassail’ and ‘The Wassail Bowl’ but it is a vein running
through the entire seam of his songs. With him, at Christmas-time,--

              My good dame, she
    Bids ye all be free,
    And drink to your heart’s desiring.

In his _New Year’s Gift_, he bids Sir Simeon Steward--

    Remember us in cups full crowned,
    And let our city health go round.

Is he singing of Twelfth Night? No sooner is the question of king and
queen settled than their health must be drunk:--

    And let not a man be seen here,
      Who unurged will not drink,
      To the base from the brink,
    A health to the king and queen here.

      Next crown the bowl full
      With gentle lamb’s wool;
    Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
      With store of ale too;
      And thus ye must do
    To make the wassail a swinger.

Of course, ‘True Hospitality’ would be impossible without the favourite

    But as thy meat, so thy immortal wine
    Makes the smirk face of each to shine,
    And spring fresh rosebuds, while the salt, the wit,
    Flows from the wine, and graces it.

The pretty superstition that wassailing the trees will make them bear,
is included among the Christmas Eve ceremonies in his _Hesperides_:--

    Wassaile the trees, that they may beare
    You many a plum and many a peare;
    For more or lesse fruits they will bring,
    As you do give them wassailing.

The day of this ceremony varies in different localities. In Devonshire
the eve of the Epiphany is chosen; there the farmer and his men proceed
to the orchard with a huge jug of cider, and forming a circle round a
well-bearing tree, drink the toast,--

      Here’s to thee, old apple tree,
    Whence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayst blow!
    And whence thou mayst bear apples enow!
    Hats full! caps full!
    Bushel, bushel, sacks full,
    And my pockets full too; huzza![137]

Total sustenance (not _abstinence_) was part of his religion. In his
exquisite little poem entitled ‘A Thanksgiving for his House’--only to
be approached (of its kind) by Bishop Wordsworth’s hymn, ‘Who givest
all’--he thanks God, amongst other mercies, for the _wassail bowl_:--

    Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
        The pulse is Thine,
    And all those other bits that be
        There placed by Thee.
    The worts, the purslain, and the mess
        Of water-cress,
    Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent:
        And my content
    Makes those, and my beloved beet,
        To be more sweet.
    ‘Tis Thou that crown’st my glittering hearth
        With guiltless mirth;
    And giv’st me wassail bowls to drink,
        Spiced to the brink.

With Herrick must be coupled in this connection the name of Cowley, of
whom Dr. Johnson said, that ‘if he was formed by nature for one kind of
writing more than for another, his power seems to have been greatest
in the familiar and the festive.’[138] He was perfectly at home with
Anacreontics. That on ‘Drinking’ will be remembered:--

    Nothing in nature’s sober found,
    But an eternal health goes round.
    Fill up the bowl then, fill it high.
    Fill all the glasses there, for why
    Should every creature drink but I?
    Why, men of morals, tell me why?

As will also ‘The Epicure’--the ‘_bibamus, moriendum est_’ of Seneca:--

    Fill the bowl with spicy wine,
    Around our temples roses twine,
    And let us cheerfully awhile
    Like the wine and roses smile.
           *       *       *       *       *
    To-day is ours; what do we fear?
    To-day is ours, we have it here.
    Let’s banish business, banish sorrow;
    To the gods belong to-morrow.

Cowley’s death was accelerated by intemperance if we can rely upon the
authority of Pope. The event occurred while Dean Sprat was his guest.
They had visited in company a neighbour of Cowley’s, who too amply
refreshed them. ‘They did not set out for their walk home till it was
too late, and had drunk so deep that they lay out in the fields all
night. This gave Cowley the fever that carried him off.’

To the same convivial school belongs Sir Richard Fanshawe, to whom the
distress of the monarch provided occasion for a toast:--

    Come, pass about the bowl to me;
    A health to our distressed king!
    Though we’re in hold, let cups go free,
    Birds in a cage do freely sing.[139]

And Alexander Brome, whose _Mad Lover_ exemplifies the tyranny of
excessive drinking:--

    I have been in love and in debt and in drink
      This many and many a year;
    And those three are plagues enough, one would think,
      For one poor mortal to bear.
    ‘Twas drink made me fall into love,
      And love made me run into debt;
    And though I have struggled and struggled and strove,
      I cannot get out of them yet.

    There’s nothing but money can cure me
      And rid me of all my pain.
        ‘Twill pay all my debts
        And remove all my lets,
    And my mistress that cannot endure me
      Will love me, and love me again;
    Then I’ll fall to loving and drinking amain.

(4) A fourth cause of the intemperance of the time was the profusion of
_taverns_. Decker writes that ‘a whole street is in some places but a
continuous ale-house, not a shop to be seen between red lattice and red

The Lord-keeper Coventry thus speaks of them:--‘I account ale-houses
and tippling-houses the greatest pests in the kingdom. I give it you in
charge to take a course that none be permitted unless they be licensed;
and for the licensed ale-houses, let them be but few and in fit places;
if they be in private corners and ill places, they become the den
of thieves--they are the public stages of drunkenness and disorder.
Let care be taken in the choice of ale-house keepers, that it be not
appointed to be the livelihood of a large family. In many places they
swarm by default of the justices of the peace.’[141] It may be remarked
that by this time inns had become representative; that is, for the most
part each inn attracted a particular species of customer. This did not
escape the notice of that keen observer Heywood:--

    The gentry to the King’s Head,
      The nobles to the Crown,
    The knights unto the Golden Fleece,
      And to the Plough the clown;
    The Churchman to the Mitre,
      The shepherd to the Star,
    The gardener hies him to the Rose,
      To the Drum the man of war;
    To the Feathers, ladies, you; the Globe
      The seamen do not scorn;
    The usurer to the Devil, and
      The Townsman to the Horn;
    The Huntsman to the White Hart,
      To the Ship the merchants go,
    But you that do the Muses love
      The sign called River Po;
    The bankrupt to the World’s End,
      The fool to the Fortune hie,
    Unto the Mouth the oyster-wife,
      The fiddler to the Pie;
         *     *     *     *     *
      The drunkard to the Vine,
    The beggar to the Bush, then meet
      And with Sir Humphrey dine.

Bishop Earle, whose _Microcosmography_ is accounted a faithful
delineation of characters as they existed in the seventeenth century,
has bequeathed the following account of a tavern of his date:--‘A
tavern is a degree, or (if you will) a pair of stairs above an
ale-house, where men are drunk with more credit and apology. If the
vintner’s nose be at the door, it is a sign sufficient, but the absence
of this is supplied by the ivy-bush. It is a broacher of more news than
hogsheads, and more jests than news, which are sucked up here by some
spongy brain, and from thence squeezed into a comedy. Men come here to
make merry, but indeed make a noise, and this music above is answered
with a clinking below. The drawers are the civillest people in it, men
of good bringing up, and howsoever we esteem them, none can boast more
justly of their high calling. ‘Tis the best theatre of natures, where
they are truly acted, not played, and the business as in the rest of
the world, up and down; to wit, from the bottom of the cellar to the
great chamber. A melancholy man would find here matter to work upon, to
see heads, as brittle as glasses, and often broken. Men come hither to
quarrel, and come here to be made friends. It is the common consumption
of the afternoon, and the murderer or the maker away of a rainy day. It
is the torrid zone that scorches the face, and tobacco the gunpowder
that blows it up. Much harm would be done if the charitable vintner had
not water ready for the flames. A house of sin you may call it, but
not a house of darkness, for the candles are never out; and it is like
those countries far in the north, where it is as clear at midnight as
at midday. After a long sitting it becomes like a street in a dashing
shower, where the spouts are flushing above, and the conduits running
below. To give you the total reckoning of it, it is the busy man’s
recreation, the idle man’s business, the melancholy man’s sanctuary,
the stranger’s welcome, the inns-of-court man’s entertainment, the
scholar’s kindness, and the citizen’s courtesy. It is the study of
sparkling wits, and a cup of comedy their book, whence we leave them.’

(5) A fifth cause was the perpetuation of Wakes. Complaints were made
in all directions of their evil tendency. The author of the _Life of
John Bruen_ (1641) laments that ‘Popery and Profannes, two sisters in
evil, had consented and conspired in this parish, as in many other
places, together to advance their idols against the arke of God, and to
celebrate their solemne feastes of their Popish saints by their wakes
and vigils, ... in all riot and excesse of eating and drinking.’

The outcry, it is evident, arose rather from the Puritan than the
Temperance party, and became so irrepressible that at the Exeter
assizes (1627), Chief Baron Walter and Baron Denham made an order
for suppression of all wakes. Judge Richardson made a like order
for the county of Somerset, 1631. But on Laud’s demurrer the King
commanded this order to be reversed; which the judge declining to do,
a report was required by the bishop of the diocese how the feast days,
church-ales, wakes, and revels were observed within his jurisdiction.
On receipt of these instructions the bishop advised with seventy-two
of the most able of his clergy, who certified that on these feast days
the service of God was more solemnly performed than on any other days,
that the people desired their continuance, as did also the ministers,
for that they preserved the memorial of the dedication of their
several churches, civilised the people, composed differences, tended
to the increase of love and unity, and to the relief of the poor.
On the delivery of this certificate Judge Richardson was cited, and
peremptorily commanded to reverse his former order. After this, King
Charles I. gave new force to his father’s declaration:--

    We do ratify and publish this our blessed father’s decree, the
    rather because of late, in some counties of our kingdom, we find
    that under pretence of taking away abuses there hath been a general
    forbidding, not only of ordinary meetings, but of the feasts of
    the dedications of the churches, commonly called _Wakes_. Now his
    Majesty’s express will and pleasure is that these feasts, with
    others, shall be observed; and that his justices of the peace shall
    look to it, both that all disorders there may be prevented or
    punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedom, with manlike and
    lawful exercises, be used.

It should here be stated that malice even has not dared to impeach
the private morals of Charles I. Chaste and temperate are epithets
constantly applied to him. The most convincing testimony to the latter
virtue is the statement of A. Wood, that the vintners illuminated at
his death, made bonfires, and drank lusty carouses. He had evidently
not favoured their trade; but the justice of his cause and the
injustice of his treatment were engraven on many a publican’s sign, to
which the ‘Mourning Crown and Mitre’ bore witness. _The Mourning Bush_
was the sign set up by John Taylor, the ‘Water-Poet,’ over his tavern
in Long Acre, to express his grief at the beheading of the King. But
he was compelled to away with it; when, in its place, he put up the
_Poet’s Head_, his own portrait, with this inscription:--

    There is many a head hangs for a sign,
    Then, gentle reader, why not mine?

The following is the testimony of Clarendon:--

    As he (the king) excelled in all other virtues, so in temperance
    he was so strict, that he abhorred all debauchery to that degree,
    that at a great festival solemnity, where he once was, being told
    by one who withdrew from thence, what vast draughts of wine they
    drank, and that there was one earl who had drunk most of the rest
    down, and was not himself moved or altered, the king said that he
    deserved to be hanged; and that earl coming shortly after into the
    room where his Majesty was, in some gaiety, to show how unhurt he
    was from that battle, the king sent one to bid him withdraw from
    his Majesty’s presence; nor did he in some days after appear before

The following lines occur on the signboard of the inn near Hardwicke
House, close to Caversham, where Charles I. was kept a prisoner:--

    Stop! traveller, stop! In yonder peaceful glade
    His favourite game the Royal Martyr played:
    Here, stripped of honours--children--freedom--rank,--
    Drank from the bowl, and bowled for what he drank;
    Sought in a cheerful glass his cares to drown,
    And changed his guinea, ere he lost his crown.

But, along with so many incentives to excess, were there no
counteractive agencies at work? The reply is that there were. Precept
and law were neither silent nor inoperative. It was not for nothing
that men like Jeremy Taylor and Usher, Milton and Crashaw, lived and

Of the first-named writer (chaplain to the king) two quotations must

    _Jeremy Taylor on Temperance._--Temperance hath an effect on the
    understanding, and makes the reason sober, and the will orderly,
    and the affections regular, and does things beside and beyond
    their natural and proper efficacy: for all the parts of our duty
    are watered with the showers of blessing, and bring forth fruit
    according to the influence of heaven, and beyond the capacities of

    _Jeremy Taylor on our Shortening our own Days._--In all the
    process of our health we are running to our grave: we open our
    own sluices by viciousness and unworthy actions; we pour in drink
    and let out life; we increase diseases and know not how to bear
    them; we strangle ourselves with our own intemperance; we suffer
    the fevers and the inflammations of lust, and we quench our souls
    with drunkenness: we bury our understandings in loads of meat and
    surfeits, and then we lie down on our beds, and roar with pain and
    disquietness of our souls.[143]

Archbishop Usher, treating of the seventh commandment, asks,--

    How is this commandment broken in the abuse of meat and drink?
    Either in regard of the _quality_ or _quantity_ thereof. How in
    regard of the _quantity_? By excess, and intemperance in diet: when
    we ... give ourselves to surfeiting and drunkenness. What be the
    contrary duties here commanded? 1. Temperance, in using a sober
    and moderate diet, according to our ability.... 2. Convenient
    abstinence (1 Cor. ix. 27).[144]

Of Milton, Johnson says that--

    His domestic habits, so far as they are known, were those of a
    severe student. He drank little strong drink of any kind, and
    fed without excess in quantity, and in his earlier years without
    delicacy of choice.

But we should certainly infer, _pace_ the good Doctor, that in his
earlier years at least he was fond of wine, from his sonnet to Mr.
Lawrence, which seems redolent of Horace in his Bacchanalian moods. The
sonnet is intensely classical:--

_To Mr. Lawrence._

    Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
      Now that the fields are dank and ways are mire,
      Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
    Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
    From the hard season gaining? Time will run
      On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
      The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
    The lily and rose, that neither sow’d nor spun.
    What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
      Of Attic taste, _with wine_, whence we may rise
    To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
        Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
        _He who of those delights can judge, and spare_
      _To interpose them oft_, is not unwise.

Also in _L’Allegro_ we are rather disposed to think our poet shows
that he was not altogether superior ‘to the spicy nut-brown ale.’ On
the other hand, his--also Horatian--sonnet to Cyriac Skinner seems to
suggest a somewhat similar idea to Cowper’s ‘cups that cheer but not
inebriate,’ though they may refer to moderate drinking:--

_To Cyriac Skinner._

    Cyriac, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
      Of British Themis, with no mean applause
      Pronounced and in his volumes taught our laws,
    Which others at their bar so often wrench;
    _To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench_
      _In mirth that after no repenting draws_.

On the other hand, he could be no friend to excess who in _Paradise
Lost_, book i., thus speaks of Belial:--

    In courts and palaces he also reigns,
    And in luxurious cities, where the noise
    Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
    And injury and outrage; and when night
    Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
    Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

And again:--

        Intemperance on the earth shall bring
    Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
    Before thee shall appear!

What an advocate of _prohibition_ was he who could write,--

    What more foul common sin among us than drunkenness? Who can be
    ignorant that if the importation of wine were forbid, it would both
    clean rid the possibility of committing that odious vice, and men
    might afterwards live happily and healthfully without the use of
    intoxicating liquors!

Richard Crashaw, of whom it was writ,--

    Poet and saint! to thee alone are given
    The two most sacred names of earth and heaven,

reckons amongst his many efforts of genius, _Temperance, or the Cheap
Physician_, where, after ridiculing the doctors’ mystic compositions,
he asks,--

    And what at last shall gain by these?
    Only a costlier disease.
    That which makes us have no need
    Of physic, that’s physic indeed.

It may be remembered that this poet was the author of the epigram whose
last line runs,--

      Lympha pudica Deum vidit, et erubuit.
    The modest water saw its God, and blushed.

This epigram was composed by Crashaw when Dryden was an infant, so
should not be attributed to the latter.

Some noble lines of the poet James Nicholson are well worthy of

    Our homes are invaded with dark desolation,
      There’s danger wherever the wine-cup doth flow;
    Then pledge your fair hands to resist the temptation,
      Nor stain your red lips with those waters of woe.
    Lift up your bright glances, put on all your beauty--
      Your holy affections--your God-given dower;
    Such weapons are mighty--awake to your duty,
      The trophies you gather will add to your power.

And, once more,--

    I’ll pledge thee not in wassail bowl,
      With rosy madness filled;
    But let us quaff the nobler wine,
      By Nature’s hand distilled.
    Where to the skies the mountains rise
      In grandeur to the view,
    Where sparkling rills leap down the hills,
      Our Scotia’s mountain dew.

Thomas Weaver, 1649, writes,--

    The harms and mischiefs which th’abuse
    Of wine doth every day produce,
    Make good the doctrine of the Turks,
    That in each grape a devil lurks.

Divines like Hugh Peters declaimed from the pulpit against
intemperance. Archbishop Harsnet, founder of Chigwell School, left
the regulation respecting the head master, that he be ‘no tippler, no
haunter of ale-houses, no puffer of tobacco.’

In addition to abundance of precept, some legislative action is

In 1627 (3 Charles I.) a fine of twenty shillings, or whipping, is
imposed for keeping an ale-house without licence.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1687 the vintners were called upon to submit to a tax of a penny a
quart upon all the wine they retailed. As they repudiated the demand, a
decree was passed in the Star Chamber forbidding them to sell or dress
victuals in their houses. Two years after, they were questioned for the
breach of this decree, and to avoid punishment they consented to lend
the king six thousand pounds, subsequently entering into a composition
to pay half the duty which was at first demanded of them.

An Act of 1688 prohibits the retailing of wine in bottles--an Act which
must have fostered adulteration. Light wines will not keep long in the
cask, and if not bottled at the proper time become useless. The dealer,
to avert loss, adopts preventive measures. The door is at once open to
fraud and adulteration. Complaints of the latter became now common.

Wines had risen greatly in price. _An order in Council of 1633_ directs
that Canary, Muskadells, and Alligant should be sold in gross at 17_l._
a pipe, and at 12_d._ the quart by retail; Sacks and Malaga at 10_d._
the quart; the best Gascoigne and French wines at 6_d._ the quart.

In 1643 was established the excise, which was introduced, on the model
of the Dutch prototype, by the Parliament after its rupture with
the Crown. Originally established in 1643, its progress was gradual,
being at first laid upon those persons and commodities where it was
supposed that the shoe would least pinch--viz. the makers and venders
of ale, beer, cider, and perry. The Royalists at Oxford followed the
example set them at Westminster, and imposed a similar duty; both sides
protesting that it should be continued no longer than to the end of
the war, and then be abolished. But the Parliament soon after extended
its application to many other commodities, and in course of time these
champions of liberty declared the impost of excise to be the most
easy and indifferent levy that could be laid upon the people, and so
continued it during their usurpation. It was afterwards made hereditary
to the Crown. Mr. Pymme is considered to have been the father of this

       *       *       *       *       *

Doubtless there was great occasion for the committee of 1641, which
inquired into the general state of the clergy. That there was
intemperance in many quarters cannot be denied; but something must
be put down to the spirit of the time. Drink was an accessory of
everything, and self-restraint was not a constant factor; there could
be only one result. The tree was bad, the fruit was bad. That the
following extract is now regarded as a curiosity, is itself a proof of
very altered manners. The items are taken from the Darlington parochial

    1639. For Mr. Thompson that preached the forenoon and afternoon,
    for a quart of sack, 14_d._ 1650. For six quarts of sack to the
    minister that preached when we had not a minister, 9_s._ 1666. For
    one quart of sack bestowed on Mr. Gillet, when he preached, 2_s._
    4_d._ 1691. For a pint of brandy, when Mr. George Bell preached
    here, 1_s._ 4_d._; when the Dean of Durham preached here, spent in
    a treat with him, 3_s._ 6_d._ For a stranger that preached, a dozen
    of ale, 12_d._

We here pause for a moment to listen to some very thoughtful remarks of
Howell, contained in a long epistle to Lord Cliffe, upon the subject of
comparative drinkdom. He writes:--

    It is without controversy that in the nonage of the world, men and
    beasts had but one buttery, which was the fountain and river, nor
    do we read of any vines or wines till two hundred years after the
    flood; but now I do not know or hear of any nation that hath water
    only for their drink, except the Japanese, and they drink it hot
    too; but we may say that whatever beverage soever we make, either
    by brewing, by distillation, decoction, percolation, or pressing,
    it is but water at first; nay, wine itself is but water sublimed,
    being nothing else but that moisture and sap which is caused
    either by rain or other kind of irrigations about the roots of
    the vine, and drawn up to the branches and berries by the virtual
    attractive heat of the sun, the bowels of the earth serving as an
    alembic to that end, which made the Italian vineyard-man (after a
    long drought, and an extreme hot summer which had parched up all
    his grapes) to complain, ‘For want of water I am forced to drink
    water; if I had water I would drink wine:’ it may also be applied
    to the miller, when he has no water to drive his mills. The vine
    doth so abhor cold, that it cannot grow beyond the 49th degree to
    any purpose; therefore God and nature hath furnished the north-west
    nations with other inventions of beverage. In this island the old
    drink was ale, noble ale, than which, as I heard a great foreign
    doctor affirm, there is no liquor that more increaseth the radical
    moisture, and preserves the natural heat, which are the two pillars
    that support the life of man. But since beer hath _hopped_ in
    amongst us, ale is thought to be much adulterated, and nothing so
    good as Sir John Oldcastle and Smugg the smith was used to drink.
    Besides ale and beer, the natural drink of part of this isle may be
    said to be metheglin, braggot, and mead, which differ in strength
    according to the three degrees of comparison. The first of the
    three, which is strong in the superlative if taken immoderately,
    doth stupefy more than any other liquor, and keeps a humming in the
    brain, which made one say, that he loved not metheglin because he
    was used to speak too much of the house he came from, meaning the
    hive. Cider and perry are also the natural drinks of parts of this

The condition of things underwent no material change during the
Commonwealth and Protectorate, notwithstanding the special pleading of
political partisanship. The state of morals in England and its capital
is accurately described in a letter to a French nobleman during the

    There is within this city [London] and in all the towns of England
    which I have passed through, so prodigious a number of houses where
    they sell a certain drink called ale, that I think a good half of
    the inhabitants may be denominated ale-house keepers. These are a
    meaner sort of _cabarets_. But what is more deplorable, there the
    gentlemen sit and spend much of their time, drinking of a muddy
    kind of beverage, and tobacco, which has universally besotted the
    nation, and at which I hear they have consumed many noble estates.
    As for other taverns London is composed of them, where they drink
    Spanish wines, and other sophisticated liquors, to that fury and
    intemperance, as has often amazed me to consider it. But thus
    some mean fellow, the drawer, arrives to an estate, some of them
    having built fair houses, and purchased those gentlemen out of
    their possessions, who have ruined themselves by that base and
    dishonourable vice of ebriety. And that nothing may be wanting to
    the height of luxury and impiety of this abomination, they have
    translated the organs out of their churches to set them up in
    taverns; chanting their dithyrambics and bestial bacchanalias to
    the tune of those instruments which were wont to assist them in
    the celebration of God’s praises, and regulate the voices of the
    worst singers in the world, which are the English in their churches
    at present.... A great error undoubtedly in those who sit at the
    helm, to permit this scandal; to suffer so many of these taverns
    and occasions of intemperance, such leeches and vipers, to gratify
    so sordid and base a sort of people with the spoils of honest and
    well-natured men. Your lordship will not believe me, that the
    ladies of greatest quality suffer themselves to be treated in one
    of these taverns, where a courtezan in other cities would scarcely
    vouchsafe to be entertained. But you will be more astonished when
    I shall assure you that they drink their crowned cups roundly,
    strain healths through their smocks, dance after the fiddle, &c.
    Drinking is the afternoon’s diversion; whether for want of a
    better, to employ the time, or affection to the drink, I know not.
    But I have found some persons of quality whom one could not safely
    visit after dinner, without resolving to undergo this drink-ordeal.
    It is esteemed a piece of wit to make a man drunk, for which some
    swilling insipid client or congiary is a frequent and constant

And later on, in order to contrast the two countries, the writer adds:--

    I don’t remember, my lord, ever to have known (or very rarely) a
    health drank in France, no, not the King’s; and if we say, _à votre
    santé, Monsieur_, it neither expects pledge or ceremony. ‘Tis here
    so the custom to drink to every one at the table, that by the time
    a gentleman has done his duty to the whole company, he is ready
    to fall asleep, whereas with us, we salute the whole table with a
    single glass only.[145]

Other writers of the time notice the participation of the women in
the general drinking. M. Jorevin, another French author, writes of a
Worcester hotel:--

    According to the custom of the country, the landladies sup with
    the strangers and passengers, and if they have daughters they are
    also of the company, to entertain the guests at table with pleasant
    conceits, where they drink as much as the men; but what is to
    me the most disgusting in all this is, that when one drinks the
    health of any person in company, the custom of the country does not
    permit you to drink more than half the cup, which is filled up and
    presented to him or her whose health you have drunk.[146]

John Evelyn tells of the execrable habit of making servants drunk. He
remarks, under date July 19, 1654:--

    Went back to Cadenham, and on the 19th to Sir Ed. Baynton’s at Spie
    Park, a place capable of being made a noble seate; but the humorous
    old knight has built a long single house of 2 low stories on the
    precipice of an incomparable prospect, and looking on a bowling
    greene in the park. The house is like a long barne, and has not a
    window on the prospect side. After dinner they went to bowles, and
    in the meanetime our coachmen were made so exceedingly drunk, that
    in returning home we escap’d greate dangers. This it seems was by
    order of the knight, that all gentlemen’s servants be so treated;
    but _the custome is a barbarous one, and much unbecoming a knight,
    still lesse a Christian_.

The same sort of thing happened to Evelyn again, March 18, 1669:--

    I went with Lord Howard of Norfolk to visit Sir William Ducie at
    Charlton, where we din’d; the servants made our coachmen so drunk
    that they both fell off their boxes on the heath, _where we were
    fain to leave them_, and were driven to London by two servants of
    my Lord’s. _This barbarous custom of making the masters welcome by
    intoxicating the servants_ had now the second time happen’d to my

[The italics are not Evelyn’s.]

A writer, by name Joseph Rigbie, slashingly exposes intemperance and
its incentives, the _tavern_ and _toasting_:--

    The tap-house fits them for a jaile,
    The jaile to the gibbet sends them without faile;
    For those that through a lattice sang of late
    You oft find crying through an iron grate.

And again:--

    Yea every cup is fast to others wedged.
    They always double drink, they must be pledged.
    He that begins, how many so’er they be,
    Looks that each one do drink as much as he.

And further on, to the same effect:--

    Oh! how they’ll wind men in, do what they can,
    By drinking healths, first unto such a man,
    Then unto such a woman! Then they’ll send
    An health to each man’s mistresse or his friend;
    Then to their kindreds or their parents deare,
    They needs must have the other jug of beere;
    Then to their captains and commanders stout,
    Who for to pledge they think none shall stand out;
    Last to the king and queen they’ll have a cruse.
    Whom for to pledge they think none dare refuse.[147]

‘We seem,’ wrote Reeve in his _Plea for Nineveh_, quoted in Malcolm’s
_Manners and Customs of London_, i. p. 286, ‘to be steeped in liquors,
or to be the dizzy island. We drink as if we were nothing but sponges
... or had tunnels in our mouths.... We are the grape-suckers of the

That the ignorant and thoughtless should have been swept into this
vortex of dissipation is not surprising, but one marvels that a man of
power, and in some sort a philosopher, should have stooped to translate
an utterly frivolous and worthless poem of St. Amant, of which a mere
quotation is sickening:--

    Wine, my boy; we’ll sing and laugh,
    All night revel, rant, and quaff;
    Till the morn stealing behind us,
    At the table sleepless find us.
    When our bones (alas!) shall have
    A cold lodging in the grave;
    When swift death shall overtake us,
    We shall sleep and none can wake us.
    Drink we then the juice o’ the vine,
    Make our breasts Lyæus’ shrine;
    Bacchus, our debauch beholding,
    By thy image I am moulding,
    Whilst my brains I do replenish
    With this draught of unmixed Rhenish;
    By thy full-branched ivy twine;
    By this sparkling glass of wine;
    By thy thyrsus so renowned,
    By the healths with which th’art crowned;
           *       *       *       *       *
    To thy frolic order call us,
    Knights of the deep bowl install us;
    And to shew thyself divine,
    Never let it want for wine.

It would be thoroughly to the liking of such a patient that Dr. Tobias
Whitaker (1638) should publish his _Blood of the Grape_, ‘proving
the possibility of maintaining Life from Infancy to Old Age without
Sickness, by the Use of Wine.’

In point of sobriety the Cavaliers have often been unfavourably
contrasted with the Roundheads. The evidence for this, apart from mere
recrimination (which in this case is a two-edged sword), has yet to be
produced. The manners of the two factions were doubtless diverse. ‘Your
friends, the Cavaliers,’ said a Roundhead to a Royalist, ‘are very
dissolute and debauched.’ ‘True,’ replied the Royalist, ‘they have the
infirmities of men; but your friends the Roundheads have the vices of
devils--tyranny, rebellion, and spiritual pride.’ We would fain hope
that they were sober all round, and that Cromwell’s description of his
troops was unassailable. The mother of Cromwell set up the brewery at
Huntingdon which is still flourishing. It was this slight connection
with ‘the trade’ which gained for Cromwell the agnomen of ‘the brewer.’

The story is told, ‘a tradition’ (Hume), that one day sitting at table,
the Protector had a bottle of wine brought him, of a kind which he
valued so highly that he must needs open the bottle himself; but, in
attempting it, the corkscrew dropt from his hand. Immediately his
courtiers and generals flung themselves on the floor to recover it.
Cromwell burst out laughing. ‘Should any fool,’ said he, ‘put in his
head at the door, he would fancy, from your posture, that you were
seeking the Lord, and you are only seeking a corkscrew.’ One sees here
that Cromwell is addressing his ‘men of religion.’ There was much of it
real or unreal; and a curious monument of the fashion then prevalent
of giving sacred names to everything and everybody is furnished by the
tavern sign of the ‘Goat and Compasses,’ which reveals the naked truth
that ‘Praise God Barebones’ preferred drinking his tankard of ale at
the tavern whose sign was ‘God encompasseth us’ to any other ale-house.
On the other hand it should be noted that, according to the late Thomas
Carlyle’s _Letters and Speeches of Cromwell_, ‘the stories of his wild
living while in town ... rest exclusively on Carrion Heath.... Of
evidence that he ever lived a wild life about town, or elsewhere, there
exists no particle.’

The funeral of the Protector is thus described by Evelyn:--

    It was the joyfullest funerall I ever saw, for there were none that
    cried but dogs, while the soldiers hooted away with a barbarous
    noise, drinking and taking tobacco in the streetes as they went.

_Club_ life was becoming more and more unfavourable to sobriety. The
‘Everlasting Club,’ instituted during the Civil War, was especially
bibulous and riotous. So much so, that a good-for-nothing devotee of
the bottle was satirically dubbed a member of that club. A writer cited
by Timbs notes that ‘since their first institution they have smoked
fifty tons of tobacco, drank thirty thousand butts of ale, one thousand
hogsheads of red port, two hundred barrels of brandy, and _one_
kilderkine of small beer.’ They sat night and day, one party relieving
another. The fire was never allowed to go out, being perpetuated by an
old woman in the nature of a Vestal. The delight of the members was in
‘old catches which they sang at all hours, to encourage one another to
moisten their clay, and grow immortal by drinking.’

But Eastern products were soon to create a revolution in the national
diet. Sir Anthony Shirley, one of the celebrated trio of brothers,
travellers, when he arrived at Aleppo in 1598, first tasted a drink
that he described as being made of a seed which will ‘soon intoxicate
the brain,’ and which, though nothing toothsome, was wholesome: this
was _coffee_. In 1650 was opened at Oxford the first coffee-house by
Jacobs, a Jew, at the Angel, in the parish of St. Peter in the East;
and there it was, by some who delighted in novelty, drunk. Hence the
antiquary Oldys is incorrect in stating that the use of coffee in
England was first known in 1657.

    Mr. Edwards, a Turkey merchant, brought from Smyrna to London one
    Pasqua Rosee, a Ragusan youth, who prepared this drink for him
    every morning. But the novelty thereof drawing too much company to
    him, he allowed his said servant, with another of his son-in-law,
    to sell it publicly, and they set up the first coffee-house in
    London in St. Michael’s Alley in Cornhill.[148]

Of course it was a panacea for all ills. An original handbill of
Rosee’s, headed, ‘The Vertue of the Coffee Drink,’ thus sounds its

    The quality of this drink is cold and dry; and though it be a
    drier, yet it neither heats nor inflames more than hot posset. It
    so encloseth the orifice of the stomach, and fortifies the heat
    within, that it is very good to help digestion; and therefore of
    great use to be taken about three or four o’clock afternoon, as
    well as in the morning. It much quickens the spirits, and makes
    the heart lightsome; it is good against sore eyes, and the better
    if you hold your head over it and take in the steam that way. It
    suppresseth fumes exceedingly, and therefore is good against the
    headache, and will very much stop any defluxion of rheums that
    distil from the head upon the stomach, and so prevent and help
    consumptions and the cough of the lungs. It is excellent to prevent
    and cure the dropsy, gout, and scurvy.... It is better than any
    other drying drink for people in years, or children that have any
    running humours upon them, as the king’s evil, &c. It is a most
    excellent remedy against the spleen, hypochondriac winds, and the
    like. It will prevent drowsiness.... It is observed that in Turkey,
    where this is generally drunk, that they are not troubled with the
    stone, gout, dropsy, or scurvy, and that their skins are exceeding
    clear and white. It is neither laxative nor restringent.

And indeed its virtues must have been generally conceded, for it became
fashionable in the reign of Charles II., and is thus alluded to by
Pope, who attributes to it an additional virtue:--

    Coffee, which makes the politician wise,
    And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.[149]

The authors of the _History of Signboards_ state that the ‘Rainbow,’
in Fleet Street, opposite Chancery Lane, is the oldest coffee-house in

    I find it recorded that one James Farr, a barber, who kept the
    coffee-house, which is now the Rainbow, by the Inner Temple gate
    (one of the first in England), was, in the year 1657, presented by
    the inquest of St. Dunstan’s in the West, for making and selling
    a sort of liquor called Coffee, as a great nuisance and prejudice
    to the neighbourhood, &c., and who would have thought London would
    ever have had near three thousand such nuisances, and that coffee
    would have been (as now) so much drank by the best of quality and

The presentation here alluded to is still preserved among the records
of St. Sepulchre’s church. It says:--

    We present James Farr, barber, for making and selling a drink
    called coffee, whereby, in making the same, he annoyeth his
    neighboors by evill smells, and for keeping of fire the most part
    night and day, whereby his chimney and chamber has been set on
    fire, to the great danger and affreightment of his neighboors.[150]

Roger North, attorney-general to James II., says:--

    The use of coffee-houses seems newly improved by a new invention
    called chocolate houses, for the benefit of rooks and cullies of
    all the quality; where gaming is added to all the rest, ... as if
    the devil had erected a new university, and those were the colleges
    of its professors, as well as his school of discipline.[151]

Chocolate was advertised as a new drink in 1657:--

    In Bishopsgate Street in Queen’s Head Alley, at a Frenchman’s
    house, is an excellent West India drink called chocolate to be
    sold, where you may have it ready at any time, and also unmade, at
    reasonable rates.

The reputation of chocolate upon its introduction was fluctuating. This
appears in the letters of Madame de Sévigné, who at one time recommends
it to her daughter with all fervour, whilst at other times she decries
it as the root of all evil.

But however much the introduction into our country of such drinks was
destined to discover a rival to intoxicants, the fact remains that the
public taste had by the habit of long ages become vitiated, and England
had earned for herself the distinction of the ‘land of drunkards.’

True it is that the Protector strove to repress intemperance by fines
and punishments. The rigid restrictions of the republican rule were
manifested in the strict surveillance maintained over the people, with
the view of securing temperance. Convictions for drunkenness were of
daily occurrence; and it was often the practice to remove all doubts
of the sufficiency of testimony by producing the delinquent in court
under the influence of drink. Many are the instances in which it is
recorded by the convicting justice that some offender was ‘drunk in my
view.’ They were in the habit, moreover, of making nice distinctions as
to the grades of intoxication.

The ‘drunkard’s cloak’ was an instrument of punishment then in use,
which might with advantage be revived. It was a cask with a hole at the
top, through which the drunkard’s head protruded, and one on each side
for either hand. The legs were free for the offender to perambulate
with the instrument of disgrace about him.[152]

Some strong language was uttered from the pulpit against drunkenness.
Dr. Robert Harris, President of Trinity College, Oxford, in the
dedication to the _Drunkard’s Cup_, a sermon, speaks of the _ars
bibendi_ as having become a great profession:--

    There are lawes and ceremonies to be observed both by the firsts
    and seconds. There is a drinking by the _foot_, by the _yard_, &c.,
    a drinking by the _douzens_, by the _scores_, &c., for the _wager_,
    for the _victory_, _man against man_, _house against house_, _town
    against town_. There are also terms of art, fetched from hell, for
    the better distinguishing of the practitioners; one is _coloured_,
    another is _foxt_, a third is _gone to the dogs_, &c.

In the sermon he speaks of ‘the strange saucinesse of base vermine,
in tossing the name of his most excellent Majesty in their foaming
mouthes, and in daring to make that a shooing-horne to draw on drink by
drinking healths to him.’[153]

Dr. Grindrod draws attention in his _Bacchus_ to a prominent appeal
of about the same date entitled, _The Blemish of Government, the Shame
of Religion, the Disgrace of Mankind_: ‘or, a charge drawn up against
Drunkards, and presented to his highness the Lord Protector, in the
name of all the sober party in the three nations,’ by R. Younge. The
book is not procurable; but assuming the quotation to be correct the
statistic is astounding:--

    It is sad to consider how many will hear this charge for one that
    will apply it to himself, for confident I am that fifteen of
    twenty, this city over [London] are _drunkards_, yea, seducing
    drunkards, in the dialect of Scripture, and by the law of God which
    extends to the heart and the affections.... Perhaps by the law of
    the land, a man is not taken for drunk except his eyes stare, his
    tongue stutter, his legs stagger; but by God’s law, he is one that
    goes often to the drink, or that tarries long at it (Prov. xxiii.
    30, 31). He that will be drawn to drink when he hath neither _need
    of it_ nor _mind to it_, to the spending of _money_, wasting of
    precious _time_, discredit of the _Gospel_, the stumbling-block of
    _weak ones_, and hardening associates ... is a drunkard.

Presuming that Younge’s statement is at all within the mark, it will
account for the effort put forth at the London sessions in 1654,
wherein it was ordered that ‘no new licences shall be granted for two

       *       *       *       *       *

Great was the magnificence of the pageant upon the restoration of King
Charles II. The conduits flowed with a ‘variety of delicious wines.’
At the Stocks was a fountain, of the Tuscan order, ‘venting wine.’ The
event was commemorated at Charing Cross by the sign of the Pageant
Tavern, which represented the triumphal arch there and then erected,
and which remained some time after. Various were the forms that
exuberance assumed. At the rejoicings at Edinburgh for the Restoration,
at the Lord Provost’s return he was at every bonfire complimented
with the _breaking of glasses_--one of the concomitant formalities of

Beyond the natural outburst of rejoicing at so great an occasion,
there is abundant corroboration of the remark of Fosbroke, that
‘drinking healths was _uncommonly_ prevalent, and productive of much
intemperance, immediately after and _on account of_ the Restoration.’
Royalty will be always prominently recognised at our public rejoicings,
as a matter of course, and of right. May the health of the Sovereign
and Royal Family always be proposed! Always, when the concomitant of
_drinking it_ has become obsolete.[154] What a volume could be written
on the customs which have gathered about the toasting of our monarchs
alone! One of these comes at once to mind in connection with the Second
Charles. Pepys, in his _Diary_ (1662-3), describes his own dining at
‘Chirurgeons’ Hall.’ He tells that:--

    Among other observables we drunk the King’s health out of a gilt
    cup given by King Henry VIII. to this Company, with bells hanging
    at it, which every man is to ring by shaking after he hath drunk up
    the whole cup.

Another curious circumstance will be mentioned presently in connection
with the toasting his successor, James.

But it is time again to review the material of all this rejoicing. At
this period of the seventeenth century the importation of French wines
into England was two-fifths of her consumption.[155] Mr. Cyrus Redding
states that in 1675, there came to England 7,495 tuns of French wine
to 20 of those of Portugal; and in 1676 no less than 9,645 French, to
83 Portuguese; soon after which date French wines were prohibited for
seven years.[156]

Navarre wine, which the same author mentions among other wines of
the Basses Pyrénées as of good quality, was coming into fashion.
Pepys mentions his dining at Whitehall with the Duke of York, who
did ‘mightily commend some new sort of wine lately found out, called
Navarr wine, which I tasted, and is, I think, good wine.’ Bacharach was
becoming a favourite Rhenish wine. Redding tells that German writers
pretend that this Bacharach derived its name from the deity of wine, a
stone still existing in the river, which they call Bacchus’ altar.

The famous author of _Hudibras_ introduces us to the names of some of
these wines which had recently come into vogue:--

    Those win the day that win the race;
    And that which would not pass in fights,
    Has done the feats with easy flights,
    Recover’d many a desp’rate campaign
    With Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champaign;
    Restor’d the fainting high and mighty
    With brandy, wine, and _aqua vitæ_;
    And made ‘em stoutly overcome
    With Bacchrach, Hockamore, and Mum.

What a satirist was Butler, of drink, drinkers, everybody!

Of drink:--

    Drink has overwhelmed and drowned,
    Far greater numbers on dry ground,
    Of wretched mankind, one by one,
    Than e’er the flood before had done.

Of drinkers--_e.g._ ‘on a Club of Sots’:--

    The jolly members of a toping club,
    Like pipestaves, are but hooped into a tub,
    And in a close confederacy link
    For nothing else but only to hold drink.

Of everybody (to whom he was politically opposed)--appealing to the

    Thou that with ale, or viler liquors,
    Didst inspire Withers, Prynne, and Vickers,
    And force them, though it was in spite
    Of Nature, and their stars, to write.[157]

Other light wines are sung of in John Oldham’s _Works_ (1684):--

    Let wealthy merchants when they dine,
    Run o’er their witty names of wine:
    Their chests of Florence and their Mont Alchine,
    Their Mants, Champaigns, Chablees, Frontiniacks tell;
    Their aums of Hock, of Backrag, and Mosell.

No wonder that the doctors complained that their efforts would be
fruitless to patch up constitutions so utterly weather-beaten by heat
and wet, as we find from Sir Charles Sedley’s _The Doctor and his
Patients_, where it is told of the family Æsculapius:--

    One day he called ‘em all together,
    And, one by one, he asked ‘em whether
    It were not better by good diet
    To keep the blood and humours quiet,
    With toast and ale to cool their brains
    Than nightly fire ‘em with Champains.

And whilst these wines were injurious to their bodies they failed
to give any real or permanent relief to their minds, as even the
licentious tragedian of the period, Etheridge, admitted:--

    At the plays we are constantly making our court,
    And when they are ended we follow the sport
        To the Mall and the Park,
        Where we love till ‘tis dark;
        Then Sparkling Champagne
        Puts an end to their reign;
        It quickly recovers
        Poor languishing lovers;
    Makes us frolic and gay, and drowns all our sorrow;
    But alas! _we relapse again on the morrow_.[158]

We obtain an incidental estimate of the market price of French wine
from the _Tatler_, No. 147, where we read:--

    Upon my coming home last night, I found a very handsome present of
    French wine left for me, as a taste--of 216 hogsheads which are to
    be put to sale at 20_l._ a hogshead, at Garraway’s coffee-house, in
    Exchange Alley.

These wines were sold _by the candle_--_i.e._ the property was put up
by the auctioneer, an inch of candle was lighted, and the last bidder
when the light went out was the purchaser.

English vineyards were still here and there attempted. Thus Evelyn
(_Diary_, 1655) ‘went to see Col. Blount’s subterranean warren, and
drank of the wine of his vineyard, which was good for little.’

The consumption of French _Brandy_ was very great, and discontent was
excited from the notion that the country was suffering from the lack of
encouragement to home distillation; permission was accordingly granted
to a company to _distil brandy_ from wine and malt.

Besides wine and brandy, ale was drunk in various forms.

Chamberlayne states that in 1667 no less than 1,522,781 barrels of beer
were brewed in the city of London, each of them containing from 32 to
36 gallons, and that the amount yearly brewed in London had since risen
to nearly 2,000,000 barrels; and that the excise for London was farmed
out for 120,000_l._ a year.[159]

Jorevin de Rochefort, whose travels were published at Paris in
1672, says:--‘The English beer is the best in Europe’ (_Antiquarian
Repertory_, vol. iv. p. 607). At Cambridge he had a visit from the
clergyman, ‘during which,’ says he, ‘it was necessary to drink two
or three pots of beer during our parley; for no kind of business is
transacted in England without the intervention of pots of beer.’

At this time people frequently ate no supper but took _buttered ale_,
composed of sugar, cinnamon, butter, and beer brewed without hops. It
was put into a cup, set before the fire to heat, and drunk hot.

_Cider_ was again coming into fashion. Butler (_Hudibras_) tells of
Sidrophel that he knew--

    ... in what sign best sider’s made.

The manufacture being of sufficient moment for reference to astrology.

A new liquor now introduced from Brunswick was a sort of strong beer
called _Mum_, or, sometimes, _Brunswick Mum_. The word has been derived
from _mummeln_, to mumble, or from the onomatopœic _mum_, denoting
silence, and from Christian Mummer by whom it was first brewed. It was
brewed chiefly from malt made from wheat instead of barley. Pope writes
of it:--

    The clamorous crowd is hush’d with mugs of mum,
    Till all, tuned equal, send a general hum.

This foreign drink was rivalled by Dorset beer.[160]

Lastly, we hear still of _Metheglin_. Pepys (1666) describes his dining
with the king’s servants from meat that came from his Majesty’s table,
‘with most brave drink, cooled in ice; and I, drinking no wine, had
metheglin, for the king’s own drinking, which did please me mightilye.’
It was an article of excise.

A good deal has been made of what is termed the _reaction_ in morals
after the republican spell. For instance, Mr. Samuelson says (_Hist. of

    These extreme measures of repression on the part of the Puritans
    led to the result which might be anticipated. They gave courage to
    those who were anxious for the return of royalty, and reconciled
    many to its reinstatement who would otherwise have struggled for
    the maintenance of republican institutions; and when Charles II.
    was once more safely enthroned, there followed a reaction in morals
    which has left to that period the unenviable notoriety of being the
    most corrupt and dissolute in the whole history of our country.

One would almost imagine from this, and kindred statements, that vice
was unknown to the Protector and his adherents; whereas it is matter of
history that Cromwell’s early life was dissolute and disorderly, and
that he consumed in gaming, drinking, debauchery, and country riots,
the more early years of his youth.[161] The Roundheads liked ale as
well as the Cavaliers. Does not Pepys tell of Monk’s troops (Feb. 13,
1659):--‘The city is very open-handed to the soldiers; they are _most
of them drunk all day_’? Surely, then, bias must have possessed Lord
Macaulay when he would have us believe that ‘in the Puritan camp no
drunkenness was seen.’ Some prefer the evidence of a contemporary.

It _is_ possible to contrast the Courts of the two Charleses, and the
contrast is terrible; but was no one responsible besides Charles II.
for his wandering life, when he herded with inferiors? If he was a
creature of frailty and vice, he was also a creature of circumstance.

Thus much prefaced, let it be freely admitted that drunkenness
prevailed in every rank of society, and that the king set the example.
Mr. Samuelson adduces from Evelyn, as an instance, a supper given by
the Duke of Buckingham when the Prince of Orange was over on a visit,
on which occasion the king made the prince drink hard (though he could
not have required much making), under the influence of which, the
Dutchman broke the windows of the chambers of the maids of honour, with
other mischiefs.

Nor does the famous story in the _Spectator_ impress us with his bias
towards temperance. The king had been dining with the Lord Mayor
at Guildhall, where his cups did not prevent his observing that
conviviality had occasioned familiarity; whereupon, with an abrupt
farewell, he left the banquet. The mayor pursued the monarch, overtook
him in the courtyard, and swore that he should not go till they had
‘drunk t’other bottle!’ The airy monarch looked kindly at him over his
shoulder, and, with a smile and graceful air, repeated the line of the
old song:--

    And the man that is drunk is as great as a king!

and immediately turned back and complied with his host’s bidding.

But the veil is more thoroughly lifted by Pepys, who notes:--

    _September 23, 1667._--With Sir H. Cholmly to Westminster; who by
    the way told me how merry the King and Duke of York and Court
    were the other day, when they were abroad a-hunting. They came to
    Sir G. Cartaret’s house at Cranbourne, and there were entertained
    and all made drunk; and, being all drunk, Armerer did come to the
    king, and swore to him ‘By God, sir,’ says he, ‘you are not so
    kind to the Duke of York of late as you used to be.’ ‘Not I?’ says
    the king. ‘Why so?’ ‘Why,’ says he, ‘if you are, let us drink his
    health.’ ‘Why let us,’ says the king. Then he fell on his knees and
    drank it; and having done, the king began to drink it. ‘Nay, sir,’
    says Armerer, ‘by God, you must do it on your knees!’ So he did,
    and then all the company: and having done it, all fell a-crying
    for joy, being all maudlin and kissing one another, the king the
    Duke of York, and the Duke of York the king; and in such a maudlin
    pickle as never people were: and so passed the day.

Again he writes (1661):--

    At Court things are in very ill condition, there being so much
    emulacion, poverty, and the vices of drinking, swearing, and loose
    amours, that I know not what will be the end of it but confusion.

Two of the notables about Court have already been alluded to.
Rochester--that is, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester--in the language
of Dr. Johnson, ‘blazed out his youth and his health in lavish
voluptuousness,’ dying at the age of thirty-three. Some lines of his
favour the notion that the origin of the term _toasting_, as given in
the _Tatler_, may be the correct one. They are:--

    Make it so large that, fill’d with sack
      Up to the swelling brim,
    Vast _toasts_ on the delicious lake,
      Like ships at sea, may swim.

A confirmation of the same may be derived from a verse of Warton:--

    My sober evening let the tankard bless,
    With _toast_ embrown’d, and fragrant nutmeg fraught,
    While the rich draught, with oft-repeated whiffs,
    Tobacco mild improves.

Of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, the criticism of Dryden must
suffice--lines well known:--

    Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
    Was everything by starts and nothing long.
    But in the course of one revolving moon,
    Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.
    Then all for women, paintings, rhyming, drinking,
    Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.

Another drinking notoriety was Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset (_n._
1637, _ob._ 1684).

    One of his frolics [says Dr. Johnson] has by the industry of Wood
    come down to posterity. Sackville, who was then Lord Buckhurst,
    with Sir Charles Sedley and Sir Thomas Ogle, got drunk at the Cock
    in Bow Street, by Covent Garden, and going into the balcony utterly
    disgraced themselves. The public indignation was awakened; the
    crowd attempted to force the door, and being repulsed drove in the
    performers with stones, and broke the windows of the house. For
    this misdemeanour they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five
    hundred pounds: what was the sentence of the others is not known.
    Sedley employed Killigrew and another to procure a remission from
    the king; but (mark the friendship of the dissolute) they begged
    the fine for themselves, and exacted it to the last groat.

Lord Macaulay, in his _History of England_, chap. vi. has the following
description of the same disgraceful event:--

    The morals of Sedley were such as even in that age gave great
    scandal. He on one occasion, after a wild revel, exhibited himself
    without a shred of clothing in the balcony of a tavern near Covent
    Garden, and harangued the people who were passing in language
    so indecent and profane that he was driven in by a shower of
    brickbats, was prosecuted for a misdemeanour, was sentenced to a
    heavy fine, and was reprimanded by the Court of King’s Bench in the
    most cutting terms.

It is perfectly clear that the higher motives for restraint were
lacking, though expediency acted as a curb upon occasions. The
following passage from Evelyn’s _Diary_ will serve as an illustration:--

    _October 30, 1682._--I was invited to dine with Mons. Lionberg,
    the Swedish Resident, who made a magnificent entertainment, it
    being the birthday of his king. There dined the Duke of Albemarle,
    D. of Hamilton, Earle of Bathe, E. of Aylesbury, Lord Arran, Lord
    Castlehaven, the sonn of him who was executed 50 yeares before, and
    several greate persons. I was exceeding afraide of drinking (it
    being a Dutch feast), _but the Duke of Albemarle, being that night
    to waite on his Majestie, excesse was prohibited_; and to prevent
    all, I stole away and left the company as soone as we rose from

[Italics not in the original.]

From the same author we find that the same vice beset women of rank.
The Duchess of Mazarine, he observes, is reported to have hastened her
death by intemperate drinking of strong spirits.

The Lower House of Parliament seems to have been infected with the
moral distemper. Evelyn writes:--

    _December 19, 1666._--Among other things Sir R. Ford did make
    me understand how the House of Commons is a beast not to be
    understood, it being impossible to know beforehand the success
    almost of any small plain thing.... He did tell me, and so did Sir
    W. Batten, how Sir Allen Brodericke and Sir Allen Apsly did come
    drunk the other day into the House, and did both speak for half
    an hour together, and could not be either laughed, or pulled, or
    bid to sit down and hold their peace, to the great contempt of the
    king’s servants and cause; which I am grieved at with all my heart.

(What made this worse was that Sir Allen Brodericke was an
official--Surveyor-General in Ireland to his Majesty.)

But there was a vast amount of drinking that is really intemperance,
though it passes under another name. Very apposite are the words of a
contemporary, Sir William Temple:--

    Temperance, that virtue without pride, and fortune without envy;
    ... the best guardian of youth, and support of old age; the precept
    of reason as well as religion; and physician of the soul as well
    as the body; the tutelar goddess of health, and universal medicine
    of life, that clears the head and cleanses the blood, that eases
    the stomach, and purges the bowels, that strengthens the nerves,
    enlightens the eyes, and comforts the heart; in a word, that
    secures and perfects the digestion.... I do not allow the pretence
    of temperance to all such as are seldom or never drunk, or fall
    into surfeits; for men may lose their health without losing their
    senses, and be intemperate every day, without being drunk perhaps
    once in their lives; nay, for aught I know, if a man should pass
    the month in a college diet, without excess or variety of meats or
    of drinks, but only the last day give a loose in them both, and
    so far till it comes to serve him for physic rather than food,
    and he utter his stomach as well as his heart, he may perhaps, as
    to the mere considerations of health, do much better than another
    that eats every day ... in plenty and luxury, with great variety
    of meats, and a dozen glasses of wine at a meal, still spurring up
    appetite when it would lie down of itself; flushed every day, but
    never drunk.[162]

It is refreshing in reading Johnson’s _Lives_ to come upon a poet
really free from a suspicion of fondness for drink. Such a one was
Edmund Waller, born 1605, died 1687. Would he have lived so long had he
been a drink-hard? Johnson remarks of him:--

    In the first parliament summoned by Charles the Second (March 8,
    1661) Waller sat for Hastings, in Sussex, and served for different
    places in all the parliaments of that reign. In a time when fancy
    and gaiety were the most powerful recommendations to regard, it is
    not likely that Waller was forgotten. He passed his time in the
    company that was highest both in rank and wit, from which even his
    obstinate sobriety did not exclude him. Though he drank water,
    he was enabled by his fertility of mind to heighten the mirth
    of Bacchanalian assemblies; and Mr. Saville said that ‘no man in
    England should keep him company without drinking but Ned Waller.’

An excellent companion for the poet would have been Guy, Earl of
Warwick, in whose ‘Tragical History’ occur the lines:--

    _Phillis._ Give me some bread. I prithee, father, eat.

    _Guy._     Give me brown bread, for that’s a pilgrim’s meat.

    _Phillis._ Reach me some wine; good father, taste of this.

    _Guy._     Give me cold water, that my comfort is.
               I tell you, Lady, your great Lord and I
               Have thought ourselves as happy as a king,
               To drink the water of a christal spring.

_Coffee_ came into general use in England, according to John Evelyn
(_Diary_), about 1667. But he records, under date May 1637, that ‘one
Nathaniel Conopios, out of Greece, from Cyrill, the Patriarch of
Constantinople, was the first he ever saw drink coffee.’

Tea became a fashionable beverage in England soon after the marriage of
Catharine of Braganza with Charles II. It was not exactly introduced by
her, as it was procurable in London some months, at any rate, before
her marriage; for Pepys writes:--‘_Sept. 28, 1660._--I did send for a
cup of tea (a China drink), of which I never had drank before.’ Yet
she set the fashion for the use of it. Strickland rightly considers
that the use of these simple luxuries, tea, coffee, and chocolate,
had gradually a beneficial influence on the manners of all classes of
society, by forming a counter-charm against habits of intoxication.
Waller wrote a complimentary poem on the queen, commending tea, in
which are the lines:--

    The best of Queens and best of herbs we owe
    To that bold nation, who the way did show
    To the fair region where the sun doth rise.

All sorts of things have been scribbled about it, good, bad, and
indifferent. The same Waller writes:--

    The Muses’ friend, _Tea_, does our fancy aid,
    Repress the vapours which the head invade,
    And keeps the palace of the soul serene.

Young could write, on the other hand:--

    _Tea_; how I tremble at thy fatal stream!
    As Lethe, dreadful to the love of fame.
    What devastations on thy banks are seen!
    What shades of mighty names which once have been!
    A hecatomb of characters supplies
    Thy painted altars’ daily sacrifice.

In sympathy with Young would be Dr. Parr, in the well-known line of

    Nec _tea_-cum possum vivere, nec sine te.

or, in mother tongue--

    When failing tea, my soul and body thrive,
    But failing thee, no longer I survive.

The epigram is still more severe:--

    If wine be poison, so is Tea--but in another shape--
    What matter whether we are kill’d by canister or grape?

We still plump for tea.

One word before leaving the drink of the Restoration. Some may be
curious to inquire the nature of their cups. Pepys, telling of his
dining at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, says:--

    Plenty of wine of all sorts; but it was very unpleasing that we
    had no napkins nor change of trenchers, and drunk out of earthen
    pitchers and wooden dishes (cups).

Chaffers remarks that probably pitchers and large pots were usually
made of earth and leather, while the cups, or dishes, out of which the
liquor was drunk, were of ash; or sometimes, among the more opulent,
from cups or tankards of silver:--

    His cupboard’s head six earthen pitchers graced,
    Beneath them was his trusty tankard placed.
                                             Dryden’s _Juvenal_.

It may be here mentioned that Dryden immensely prided himself on
his Bacchanalian song entitled _Alexander’s Feast_. He wrote to his
publisher, ‘I am glad to hear from all hands that my ode is esteemed
the best of all my poetry.’ Stanza III. is a sufficient specimen:--

    The praise of Bacchus then the sweet Musician sung,
    Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:
    The jolly god in triumph comes;
    Sound the trumpets; beat the drums!
        Flush’d with a purple grace
        He shows his honest face.
    Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes!
    Bacchus, ever fair and young,
    Drinking joys did first ordain:
    Bacchus’ blessings are a treasure,
    Drinking is the soldiers’ pleasure:
        Rich the treasure,
        Sweet the pleasure,
        Sweet is pleasure after pain.


The Wine Acts of Car. II. were those known as 12 Charles and 22 & 23
Charles. Early in his reign he issued that remarkable proclamation,
which could not but reflect on his favourite companions and strongly
mark the moral disorders of those depraved times.[163] It is against
‘vicious, debauch’d, and profane persons,’ who are thus described:--

    A sort of men of whom we are sufficiently ashamed, who spend their
    time in taverns, tippling-houses, and debauches, giving no other
    evidence of their affection to us but in drinking our health, and
    inveighing against all others who are not of their own dissolute
    temper; and who in truth have more discredited our cause by the
    license of their manners and lives, than they could ever advance it
    by their affection or courage. We hope all persons of honour, or
    in place and authority, will so far assist us in discountenancing
    such men, that their discretion and shame will persuade them to
    reform what their conscience would not; and that the displeasure
    of good men towards them may supply what the laws have not, and,
    it may be, cannot well provide against; there being by the license
    and corruption of the times, and the depraved nature of man, many
    enormities, scandals, and impieties, which laws cannot well provide
    against, which may, _by the example and severity of virtuous men,
    be easily discountenanced and by degrees suppressed_.

Blackstone, speaking of the king’s ordinary revenue, observes that
a seventh branch might also be computed to have arisen from wine
licences, or the rents payable to the Crown by such persons as are
licensed to sell wine by retail throughout England, except in a
few privileged places. These were _first settled on the Crown_ by
the statute 12 Car. II. c. 25, and, together with the hereditary
excise, made up the equivalent in value for the loss sustained by the
prerogative in the abolition of the military tenures, and the right of
pre-emption and purveyance; but this revenue was abolished by 30 Geo.
II. c. 19, and an annual sum of upwards of 7,000_l._ per annum, issuing
out of the new stamp duties imposed on wine licences, was settled on
the Crown in its stead.[164]

The prices of wines were fixed anew. By 12 Car. II. it was provided
that no canary, muskadel, or aligant, or other Spanish or sweet wines,
should be sold by retail for over 1_s._ 6_d._ the quart; Gascoigne and
French wines limited to 8_d._ the quart, Rhenish wines to 12_d._

    From the reign of the Norman kings here, to 1660, the wines of
    Guienne, Poitou, and Gascony came in, subject to moderate dues,
    until the reign of Charles II. The amount of duties by 12 Charles
    II. c. 4, was 13_l._ 10_s._ per tun in London, and 16_l._ 10_s._
    in the out-ports. This was at the rate of 13¼_d._ the gallon.
    The trade with France after the Revolution seems to have been
    carried on upon an equitable footing until 1675, when one of those
    popular alarms that often disgrace this country was raised, that
    France was ruining us, for there was a balance of trade against
    us of 965,128_l._ Land happened at the time to have fallen in
    price. The landed interest was shipwrecked; all, it was averred,
    in consequence of the money of England going over to France for
    the purchase of her productions. Cries were uttered like those
    when the calendar was rectified, ‘Give us back our ten days,’ or
    the old ‘No Popery,’ ‘the Church in danger,’ or more recently the
    cry of ‘French invasion,’ echoed from all sides, amid the shouts
    of the ignorant or interested. England was on the brink of ruin,
    if they were to be credited. The treaty of commerce concluded was
    soon hooted down, and in 1678, Parliament, the wisdom of which used
    sometimes to be very problematical, came to a vote declaring that
    the ‘trade with France was detrimental to the kingdom!’ An Act of
    absolute wisdom in the legislative sense of that time followed,
    the preamble of which ran, ‘Forasmuch as it hath been by long
    experience found that the importing French wines, brandy, silks,
    linen, salts, and paper, and other commodities of the growth,
    product, or manufactures of the territories and dominions of the
    French king, hath much exhausted the treasure of this nation,
    lessened the value of the native commodities and manufactures
    thereof, and caused great detriment to this kingdom, &c.’

    It was also averred that, in consequence, rents fell. French wine
    was therefore prohibited from 1679 to 1685.[165]

We form an idea of the _Ingredients put into wines_ from the order of
12 Car. II. c. 25:--

    That no merchant, vintner, wine-cooper or other person, selling or
    retailing any wine, shall mingle or utter any Spanish wine mingled
    with any French wine, or Rhenish wine, cyder, perry, stummed wine,
    honey, sugar, syrups of sugar, molasses, or any other syrups
    whatsoever: nor put in any isinglass, brimstone, lime, raisins,
    juice of raisins, water, nor any other liquor nor ingredients, nor
    any clary or other herbs, nor any sort of flesh whatsoever.

The excise duties on superior beer was 1_s._ 3_d._; on inferior, 3_d._;
on a hogshead of cider or perry, 1_s._ 3_d._; on a gallon of mead,
½_d._; on a gallon of aqua-vitæ, 1_d._; on a gallon of coffee, 4_d._;
on a gallon of chocolate or tea, 8_d._ In 1670, brandy had a duty
imposed on it of 8_d._ a gallon when imported.

Upon the accession of

_James II._

after the dinner at Guildhall, their Majesties were beset with numerous
crowds whose shouts declared their joy. When they reached Ludgate, a
rank of loyal gentlemen stood in a balcony, charged with full glasses,
which they discharged in such excellent order, that caused all the
guards to answer them with a huzza![166]

John Evelyn was ordered by the sheriff to assist in proclaiming the
king. He thus describes the event:--

    I met the Sheriff and commander of the Kentish Troop, with an
    appearance, I suppose, of above 500 horse and innumerable people,
    two of his Majesty’s trumpets, and a Sergeant with other officers,
    who, having drawn up the horse in a large field neere the towne,
    march’d thence with swords drawne, to the Market Place, where,
    making a ring after sound of trumpets and silence made, the High
    Sheriff read the proclaiming titles to his Bailiffe, who repeated
    them aloud, and then, after many shouts of the people, his
    Majesty’s health being drunk in a flint glass of a yard long by
    the Sheriff, commander, officers, and chief gentlemen, they all
    dispersed and I returned.

Here is an answer to the question, ‘What is a _yard of ale_?’ Before
the standard measures were in general use, ale was measured out in this
_ale-yard_, which was a flint-glass a yard long, of sufficient capacity
to admit a saccharometer which was a test of its strength and quality.

Many of the old ceremonies observed at the coronation banquets of the
early kings were revived by James. Amongst these, the following usage
may be noted. After thrice flinging down the gauntlet, the champion
made his obeisance to the king, who drank to him from a gilt bowl,
which he then returned with the cover. The champion then pledged his
Majesty, and rode out of the hall, taking bowl and cover as his fee.

But such ceremonies are not to be taken as any indication of a
proneness of the king to high living. Hard drinking he hated. A
contemporary writes that:--

    The king, going to Mass, told his attendants he had been informed
    that since his declaring against the disorder of the household,
    some had the impudence to appear drunk in the queen’s presence ...
    but he advised them at their peril to observe his order, which he
    would see obeyed.[167]

Much light has been thrown upon the general habits of the period by
Lord Macaulay, who, in describing the English country gentleman of
1688, remarks:--

    His chief serious employment was the care of his property. He
    examined samples of grain, handled pigs, and on market days made
    bargains over a tankard with drovers and hop merchants. His chief
    pleasures were commonly derived from field sports, and from an
    unrefined sensuality.... His table was loaded with coarse plenty,
    and guests were cordially welcome to it. But as the habit of
    drinking was general in the class to which he belonged, and as his
    fortune did not enable him to intoxicate large assemblies daily
    with claret or canary, strong beer was the ordinary beverage. The
    quantity of beer consumed in those days was indeed enormous, for
    beer then was to the middle and lower classes not only all that
    beer now is, but all that wine, tea, and ardent spirits now are; it
    was only at great houses, or on great occasions, that foreign drink
    was placed on the board. The ladies of the house, whose business it
    had commonly been to cook the repast, retired as soon as the dishes
    had been devoured, and left the gentlemen to their ale and tobacco.
    The coarse jollity of the afternoon was often prolonged till the
    revellers were laid under the table.

Mr. Lecky observes:--

    Among the poor ... the popular beverage was still ale or beer, THE
    USE OF WHICH--especially before the art of noxious adulteration was
    brought to its present perfection--HAS ALWAYS BEEN MORE COMMON THAN
    THE ABUSE. The consumption appears to have been amazing. It was
    computed in 1688 that no less than 12,400,000 barrels were brewed
    in England in a single year, though the entire population probably
    little exceeded 5,000,000. In 1695, with a somewhat heavier excise,
    it sank to 11,350,000 barrels, but even then almost a third part of
    the arable land of the kingdom was devoted to barley.

More bluntly, of course, than Macaulay, did that scourge of iniquity,
Jeremy Collier, express himself. Satirising dinner invitations, he

    If the invitation was sent in a letter, and the truth spoken out,
    it must run in the tenor following: ‘Sir, if you please to do me
    the favour to dine with me, I shall do my best to drink you out
    of your limbs and senses, to make you say a hundred silly things,
    and play the fool to purpose, if ever you did it in your life. And
    before we part you shall be well prepared to tumble off your horse,
    to disoblige your coach, and make your family sick at the sight
    of you. And all this for an opportunity of showing with how much
    friendship and respect I am _your humble servant_.’

That the delights of the table were the one thing needful is well
illustrated by a cross-examination recorded by Mr. Jeaffreson[168]:--

    ‘You know Lord Barrymore?’ Dr. Beaufort was asked by the lords
    of the Privy Council. ‘Intimately, most intimately,’ replied the
    Doctor. ‘You are continually with him?’ urged the questioner. ‘We
    dine together almost daily when his lordship is in town.’ ‘What do
    you talk about?’ ‘Eating and drinking.’ ‘_And_ what else?’ ‘Oh,
    my lord, we never talk of anything except eating and drinking,
    drinking and eating.’

The habit of _toasting_ had much to do with the excesses then so
common. At the birth of the male heir to the throne, claret was drunk
at the expense of the Crown, and endless glasses broken in drinking the
health of their Majesties and the Prince Stuart at the Edinburgh town
cross. Even the malcontent city of York drank deep potations.

Rhyming toasts were then in fashion. A Court gossip writes to Lady
Rachel Russell:--‘I know not whether you have heard a health that goes
about, which is new to me just now, so I send it you:--

    The King God bless,
    And each princess,
    The Church no less,
    Which we profess,
    As did Queen Bess.’

No doubt great abuses attended this habit of health-drinking, or we
should not find Dekker, Thomas Hall, and, indeed, the moralists almost
to a man, inveighing against the custom. It was only a few years before
this reign that the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Matthew Hale, left the
injunction to his grandchildren:--

    I will not have you begin or pledge any health, for it is become
    one of the greatest artifices of drinking and occasions of
    quarrelling in the kingdom. If you pledge one health you oblige
    yourself to pledge another, and a third, and so onward, and if you
    pledge as many as will be drank, you must be debauched and drunk.
    If they will needs know the reason of your refusal, it is a fair
    answer--that your grandfather who brought you up, from whom under
    God you have the estate you enjoy or expect, left this in command
    with you that you should never begin or pledge a health.

What a contrast does Justice Hale present to the merciless Judge
Jeffries, whose habitual intemperance may account for his actions. Nor
should it be forgotten that Sir Henry Bellasyse, whose widow the king
was so anxious to marry, was killed in a duel whilst in a state of

A very important reminder is to be found in an Act of 1685, to the
effect that--

    The ancient true and principal use of ale-houses was for the
    lodging of wayfaring people, and for the supply of the wants
    of such as were not able by greater quantities to make their
    provisions of victuals, and not for entertainment and harbouring of
    lewd and idle people, to spend their time and money in a lewd and
    drunken manner.

An event which occurred in this short reign immortalised a roadside
inn. _The Revolution House_, at Whittington, obtained its name from
the accidental meeting of the Earl of Danby, the Earl of Devonshire,
Lord Delamere, and Mr. John D’Arcy, one morning in 1688, on Whittington
Moor, near Chatsworth, to consult about the Revolution, then in
agitation. A shower of rain happening to fall, they removed to the
village for shelter, and finished their conversation at a public-house
called _The Cock and Pynot_.[169]

A fashionable spirit in this and the following reign was Jamaica _Rum_.
When the Duke of Monmouth was being brought to London as a prisoner, in
1685, he took for a bad cold, at Romsey, while staying on his saddle, a
hot glass of rum and eggs. Hot coffee would probably have done him more
good. We have already noticed that it came into use in Charles II.’s
time. Sir Anthony Shirley described it as made of a seed which, though
nothing toothsome, was wholesome. Pope went further, writing in his
_Rape of the Lock_--

    Coffee, which makes the politician wise,
    And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.

Upon the accession of

_William III._

the usual pageant was observed in London. The conduits ran with wine.
The same reception greeted the king shortly after at Oxford. The
drinking habits of the monarch are well known, though Evelyn speaks
of him as naturally averse to drink. After the death of the queen,
he became more addicted to his favourite drink, Hollands gin. The
banqueting-house at Hampton Court, which was used by him as a drinking
and smoking room, has been described as a royal gin-temple. Enemies he
had in abundance, and so intense was their hatred, that, in their hours
of debauch, they drank to the health of Sorrel, meaning the horse that
fell with the king, and, under the appellation of the ‘little gentleman
in velvet,’ _toasted_ the mole that raised the hill over which the
horse had stumbled.[170] Let us hope that it was the same hostility
that accused the queen of fondness for drink. However this may be, it
is certain that her physicians warned her most plainly against a strong
spirituous cordial to which she resorted in large doses when ill.

From highest to lowest intemperance raged in the reign of William and
Mary. De Foe remarks:--

    If the history of this well-bred vice was to be written, it would
    plainly appear that it began among the gentry, and from them was
    handed down to the poorer sort, who still love to be like their
    betters. After the Restoration, when the king’s health became the
    distinction between a Cavalier and Roundhead, drunkenness began to
    reign. The gentry caressed the beastly vice at such a rate that no
    servant was thought proper unless he could bear a quantity of wine;
    and to this day, when you speak well of a man, you say he is an
    honest, drunken fellow--as if his drunkenness was a recommendation
    to his honesty. Nay, so far has this custom prevailed, that the
    top of a gentlemanly entertainment has been to make his friend
    drunk, and the friend is so much reconciled to it that he takes
    it as the effect of his kindness. The further perfection of this
    vice among the gentry appears in the way of their expressing their
    joy for any public blessing. ‘Jack,’ said a gentleman of very high
    quality, when, after the debate in the House of Lords, King William
    was voted into the vacant throne, ‘Jack, go home to your lady, and
    tell her we have got a Protestant king and queen, and go make a
    bonfire as big as a house, and bid the butler make ye all drunk, ye

From highest to lowest, we repeat, intemperance raged. Andrew Fletcher,
of Saltoun, writing upon the curse and terrorism of mendicancy,
complains that many thousands of beggars ‘meet together in the
mountains, where they feast and riot for many days; and at country
weddings, markets, burials, and the like public occasions, they are to
be seen, both men and women, perpetually drunk, cursing, blaspheming,
and fighting together.’[172]

The dissoluteness of the time found its expression, not only upon the
stage, but among the actors themselves. Terribly significant is the
following note by Derrick on a play written by Higden, to whom Dryden
wrote a poetical epistle:--

    This gentleman (Henry Higden, Esq.) brought a comedy on the stage
    in 1693, called _The Wary Widow, or Sir Noisy Parrot_, which
    was damned, and he complains hardly of the ill-usage; for the
    bear-garden critics treated it with cat-calls. It is printed and
    dedicated to the courtly Earl of Dorset; Sir Charles Sedley wrote
    the prologue, and it was ushered into the world with several copies
    of verses. The audience were dismissed at the end of the third act,
    the author having contrived so much drinking of punch in the play,
    that the actors all got drunk, and were unable to finish it.[173]

Even the offices of religion enjoyed no immunity. Apart from the annual
item of ‘communion wine,’ a by no means uncommon charge upon the parish
was ‘wine for the vestry.’ A dignitary of the Church, evidently of the
_Mapes_ and _Still_ species, thought it not beneath the dignity of his
office to compose the bibulous epigram:--

    Si bene commemini, causæ sunt quinque bibendi;
    Hospitis adventus; præsens sitis; atque futura;
    Et vini bonitas; et quælibet altera causa.[174]

which has been rendered into English:--

    If all be true that I do think,
    There are five reasons we should drink:
    Good wine, a friend, or being dry,
    Or lest we should be by-and-by,
    Or any other reason why.

Plenty of voices were raised against the current vice. By far the most
powerful warning was uttered by the Rev. Dr. William Assheton, Fellow
of Brasenose,[175] who opens his discourse thus fearlessly:--

    Their Majesties, being sensible that as Righteousness exalteth a
    nation, so sin is a reproach to any people; and being desirous
    to reform the lives and manners of all their subjects, have
    commanded the clergy to Preach frequently against those particular
    sins and vices which are most prevailing in this realm--viz.
    against Blasphemy, Swearing, Cursing, Perjury, Drunkenness, and
    Prophanation of the Lord’s day.

He reminds that the Act of Parliament calls the sin of drunkenness
‘odious and loathsom.’ He urges:--

    The known ends of drink are these: the digestion of our meat,
    chearfulness and refreshment of our spirits, and the preserving of
    health. And whilst it contributes to those ends, so far Drinking
    is regular and moderate; but when it destroys them, ‘tis irregular
    and sinful. When therefore wine or any other drink is taken in such
    excess that by overloading nature it hinders digestion, drowns
    and suffocates the spirits, disorders the faculties, hinders the
    free use of reason, and thereby makes men unfit for business, and
    indisposeth them either for civil or religious duties, then its use
    is irregular and immoderate, and consequently sinful.

He refers to Isaiah v. 11, 22, Prov. xxiii. 29, Luke xxi. 34, Rom.
xiii. 13. He dilates on the sad consequence of excess to soul, body,
estate, and good name. He asks:--

    What sin is so heinous which a man intoxicated may not commit? The
    reason is plainly this: _Erranti terminus nullus_. An intemperate
    man is under no conduct: he is neither under God’s keeping, nor his
    own. He hath quenched God’s Spirit, whilst he inflamed his own.

And again:--

    When fancy is rampant, and sensual inclinations are let loose,
    you little know what advantage the devil can make of such a
    juncture.... Wine, if immoderately taken, is very Poyson, which,
    though it destroys not immediately, yet kills as sure as the
    rankest dose that was ever presented by Italian hand.

A medical writer, Dr. Richard Carr, inveighed, not only against strong
drink, but against tobacco, milk, and nurses![176] And something may
even be learnt from the once famous Tom Brown, classed by Thackeray
with Thomas D’Urfey and Ned Ward, a writer of libels and ribaldry, but
a man of humour and learning, from whose _Laconics_ many a useful maxim
may be culled. The following extract is not unworthy of Joseph Hall:--

    If your friend is in want, don’t carry him to the tavern, where you
    treat yourself as well as him, and entail a thirst and headache
    upon him next morning. To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of
    Burgundy, or fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of lace
    ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back. _Put something
    into his pocket._

Before estimating the causes of the prevalent declension of morals,
it will be necessary to examine the legislation at the close of this
seventeenth century, with which it was intimately associated.

Partly through hostility to France, and partly to encourage the home
distilleries, the Government of the Revolution, in 1689, prohibited
the importation of spirits from all foreign countries, and threw
open the distillery trade, on payment of certain duties, to all its
subjects. These measures laid the foundation of the great extension
of the English manufacture of spirits.[177] Any person was permitted
to set up a distillery, on giving ten days’ notice to the excise. The
consequence of this was a general thriving of the distillery business,
with a corresponding deterioration of the people. Indeed, legislative
modification was soon found to be absolutely necessary to counteract
the influence of these baneful measures upon health, sobriety, and
public order.

We scarcely wonder that the king enthusiastically encouraged the new
distilleries, although the measure was a reversal of all previous
policy. From the Norman period downwards, the laws of the land had
prohibited the conversion of malt into spirit, except a trifling
quantity for medicinal uses. Elizabeth had so strictly enforced this
statute as to treat an infringement of it as a moral offence.

A change so disastrous could not escape condemnation. The discursive
Whiston, in his autobiographical Memoirs, laments:--

    An Act of Parliament has abrogated a very good law for discouraging
    the poor from drinking gin; nay, they have in reality encouraged
    men to drunkenness, and to the murder of themselves by such
    drinking. Judge Hale earnestly supported the restrictive law, and
    opposed its abrogation, declaring that millions of persons would
    kill themselves by these fatal liquors.[178]

By the 5th & 6th of William and Mary, the duties were raised in 1694
to 4_s._ 9_d._ on strong, and 1_s._ 3_d._ on table beer. In 1695, the
Commons resolved that a sum not exceeding 515,000_l._ should be granted
for the support of the civil list for the ensuing year, to be raised by
a malt tax, and additional duties upon mum, sweets, cyder, and perry.
In 1691, owing to the tension with France, further supplies were raised
by impositions which included in their number a duty of sixpence a
bushel on malt, and a further duty on mum, cyder, and perry.

The price of claret rose rapidly when war with France broke out. Soon
the clarets were exhausted. A substitute had to be found, and was
discovered in the red wine of Portugal, then imported for the first

    ‘Some claret, boy!’--‘Indeed, sir, we have none.
    Claret, sir.--Lord! there’s not a drop in town.
    But we have the best red port.’--‘What’s that you call
    Red port?’--‘A wine, sir, comes from Portugal;
    I’ll fetch a pint, sir.’

The next quotation throws light upon its composition:--

    Mark how it smells. Methinks, a real pain
    Is by its odour thrown upon my brain.
    I’ve tasted it--‘tis spiritless and flat,
    And has as many different tastes
    As can be found in compound pastes.[179]

We are now in a position to determine the causes of the prevalent
intemperance at the close of the seventeenth century:--

1. The Act to encourage distillation.

2. The exhaustion of light wines.

3. The influence of the Court.

4. The development of _toasting_.

5. Club life.

It remains only to notice the last two of the causes.

_Toasting_ was carried to an utter absurdity. Chamberlayne thus
accounts for the fashion:--

    As the English, returning from the wars in the Holy Land, brought
    home the foul disease of leprosy, ... so, in our fathers’ days, the
    English, returning from service in the Netherlands, brought with
    them the foul vice of drunkenness.... This vice at present prevails
    so much that some persons, and those of quality, may not safely be
    visited in an afternoon without running the hazard of excessive
    drinking of healths (whereby, in a short time, twice as much
    liquor is consumed as by the Dutch, who sip and prate); and in some
    places it is esteemed a piece of wit to make a man drunk, for which
    purpose some swilling insipid buffoon is always at hand.[180]

An observant Frenchman, M. Misson, who in 1698 published his
observations on England and the English, referred particularly to
the custom of _toasting_--a custom (as he declared) almost abolished
amongst French people of any distinction. He noticed that, with
ourselves, to have drunk at table without making it the occasion of
a toast would have been considered an act of gross discourtesy. The
mode of observing the ceremony was that the person whose health was
drunk remained perfectly motionless from the moment his name was
uttered until the conclusion of the health. Or, as Misson sarcastically
describes it:--

    If he is in the act of taking something from a dish, he must
    suddenly stop, return his fork or spoon to its place, and wait,
    without stirring more than a stone, until the other has drunk ...;
    after which an _inclinabo_, at the risk of dipping his periwig in
    the gravy in his plate. I confess that when a foreigner first sees
    these manners he thinks them laughable. Nothing appears so droll
    as to see a man who is in the act of chewing a morsel which he has
    in his mouth, or doing anything else, who suddenly takes a serious
    air, when a person of some respectability drinks to his health,
    looks fixedly at his person, and becomes as motionless as if a
    universal paralysis had seized him.[181]

It is questionable if Misson was strictly correct in stating that
health-drinking had gone out in good French society. Not long before
this, Pepys had made this entry in his _Diary_:--

    To the Rhenish wine-house, where Mr. Moore showed me the French
    manner when a health is drunk to bow to him that drunk to you, and
    then apply yourself to him whose lady’s health is drunk, and then
    the person that you drink to--which I never knew before; but it
    seems it is now the fashion.

On a sort of progress through the country that William III. made in
1695, he was entertained, among other places, at Warwick Castle,
by Lord Brook. ‘Guy’s Tower was illuminated. A cistern containing
a hundred and twenty gallons of punch was emptied to his Majesty’s

A good specimen of the convivial songs of the Jacobites at this time is
to be found in Sir Walter Scott’s collection. It is entitled:--

                      _Three Healths._

    To ane king and no king, ane _uncle_ and father,
    To him that’s all these, yet allowed to be neither;
    Come, rank round about, and hurrah to our standard;
    If you’ll know what I mean, here’s a health to our landlord!

    To ane queen and no queen, ane _aunt_ and no mother,
    Come, boys, let us cheerfully drink off another;
    And now, to be honest, we’ll stick by our faith,
    And stand by our landlord as long as we’ve breath.

    To ane prince and no prince, ane son and no bastard,
    Beshrew them that say it! a lie that is fostered!
    God bless them all three; we’ll conclude with this one,
    It’s a health to our landlord, his wife, and his son.

    To our monarch’s return one more we’ll advance,
    We’ve a king that’s in Flanders, another in France;
    Then about with the health, let him come, let him come, then,
    Send the one into England, and both are at home then.[183]

And, lastly, the _Clubs_. Such was their influence that Doran even
wrote:--‘The Clubs ... were the chief causes that manners were as
depraved as they were.’[184] But it must be remembered that they were
effect as well as cause. The Calves’ Head Club was probably as bad as
any. Out of a calf’s skull filled with wine, the company drank ‘to
the pious memory of those worthy patriots who killed the tyrant.’ An
anniversary anthem was sung. That for the year 1697 concludes thus:--

    Advance the emblem of the action,
      Fill the calf’s skull full of wine;
    Drinking ne’er was counted faction,
      Men and gods adore the wine.
    To the heroes gone before us,
      Let’s renew the flowing bowl;
    While the lustre of their glories
      Shines like stars from pole to pole.[185]

Another famous club was supposed to obtain its name from the custom of
pledging favourites after dinner. Thus, Arbuthnot writes:--

    Whence deathless Kit-kat took his name,
      Few critics can unriddle;
    Some say from pastry-cook it came,
      And some from Cat and Fiddle.

    From no trim beaus its name it boasts,
      Grey statesmen or green wits,
    But from this pell-mell pack of toasts
      Of old Cats and young Kits.

In the year 1703, which was the second year of

_Queen Anne_,

the famous Methuen treaty was formed; war between England and France
again driving us to Portuguese vintages. And thus was cancelled one
of the effects of the Peace of Ryswick, which allowed the reopening
of trade with France. It was during this short open-trade period that
Farquhar produced his aptly named tragedy, _Love and a Bottle_. In
this comedy we are for the first time introduced to champagne as a
_vin mousseux_, or sparkling wine. In act ii. scene 2, the lodgings of
Mockmode, a country squire, are represented; he is conversing with his
landlady, Widow Bullfinch:--

    _Mock._ But what’s most modish for beverage now? For I suppose the
    fashion of that always alters with the clothes.

    _Bullf._ The tailors are the best judges of that; but Champaign, I

    _Mock._ Is Champaign a tailor? Methinks it were a fitter name for a
    wig-maker. I think they call my wig a campaign.

    _Bullf._ You’re clear out, sir--clear out. Champaign is a fine
    liquor, which all great beaux drink to make ‘em witty.

    _Mock._ Witty! Oh, by the universe, I must be witty! I’ll drink
    nothing else; I never was witty in my life. Here, Club, bring us a
    bottle of what d’ye call it--the witty liquor.

The widow having retired, Club, Mockmode’s servant, re-enters with a
bottle and glasses.

    _Mock._ Is that the witty liquor? Come, fill the glasses.... But
    where’s the wit now, Club? Have you found it?

    _Club._ Egad, master, I think ‘tis a very good jest.

    _Mock._ What?

    _Club._ Why, drinking, you’ll find, master, that this same
    gentleman in the _straw doublet_, the same will o’ the wisp, is a
    wit at the bottom. Here, here, master, how it _puns and quibbles in
    the glass_!

    _Mock._ By the universe, now I have it; the wit lies in the
    jingling. Hear how the glasses rhyme to one another.[186]

Evident allusion is here to the effervescence of champagne.

In his _Constant Couple_, we have:--

    Malice ne’er spoke in generous Champaign.

But champagne, we have said, suffered like other French wines from
the War of Succession and the Methuen treaty. By this treaty we
were bound to receive Portuguese wines in exchange for our woollen
goods, and to deduct from the duty on importation one-third of the
rate levied on French wines. The new demand led to an extension of
Portuguese vineyards. The demand continued to increase; the supply
was forthcoming, but too often with an article grossly mixed and
adulterated. Counterfeits poured into this country, especially from
Guernsey, and home manufactures of spurious wine abounded. Mr. Cyrus
Redding, an acknowledged authority, in his treatise on French wines,
inveighs against what he considers the short-sighted policy of our
ministers in this reign. He says:--

    We have only done now what wiser heads offered us nearly 150 years
    ago. M. de Torcy, in vain, proposed an open trade, the advantages
    of which (now obvious enough to every man of common sense) were
    scouted by the Government here, and the proposition opposed,
    not only by the Parliament, but by that suffrage satirically
    denominated, if not profanely, the _vox populi, vox Dei_. It was
    almost an axiom in the last century, in relation to trade, that
    the success or ruin of our commerce continually inclined for or
    against us, as the trade of France with England was shut or open.
    Well and justly did the late Lord Liverpool remark that the trade
    of England had flourished in spite of our legislation. When France
    proposed, in 1713-14, that a tariff should be made in England
    similar to that of France and England in 1664, Lord Bolingbroke
    treated the proposal with disdain. This tariff was simply that the
    duties and prohibitions in both countries should be reciprocal. The
    duty to be paid on both sides was five per cent. After so much of
    two centuries has elapsed since, we can hardly do otherwise than
    admit that our ideas of the true principles of trade continued
    to be erroneous too long, that the offer of de Torcy was a just
    offer, and that any can still be found obtuse enough to deny this
    fact shows that there must be exceptions even to the common run of
    vulgar intellect.

Of the manners of the time we have abundant sources of information. An
interesting description is given by Grose of the little country squire
of about 300_l._ a year in Queen Anne’s days:--

    He never played at cards but at Christmas, when a family pack was
    produced from the mantel-piece. His chief drink, the year round,
    was generally ale, except at this season, the fifth of November,
    or some other gala days, when he would make a bowl of strong
    brandy-punch, garnished with a toast and nutmeg.... In the corner
    of his hall, by the fireside, stood a large wooden two-armed chair
    with a cushion, and within the chimney corner were a couple of
    seats. Here at Christmas he entertained his tenants, assembled
    round a glowing fire.... In the meantime the jorum of ale was in
    continual circulation.[187]

But Christmas was not what it had been. It struggled, almost in vain,
to overcome the check it had sustained during the Commonwealth. Private
hospitality and festivities were recovering, but the pageants and
masks in the royal household and at the Inns of Court had received a
death-blow. At the close of the century, a revel, which would once have
been regarded as routine, was thought worthy to be recorded in a diary.
Evelyn notes a riotous Christmas at the Inner Temple as late as 1697.

Such a falling off formed a common lament of the poets:--

    Gone are those golden days of yore,
      When Christmas was a high day;
    Whose sports we now shall see no more,
      ‘Tis turn’d into Good Friday.[188]

To the same effect:--

    Black jacks to every man
      Were filled with wine and beer;
    No pewter pot nor can
      In those days did appear.

    Good cheer in a nobleman’s house
      Was counted a seemly show;
    We wanted no brawn nor souse,
      When this old cap was new.[189]

Perhaps the most sensible festivities of this period were certain
annual feasts in London for natives of the several counties. The
_London Gazette_, for May 30 to June 3, 1700, advertises ‘the annual
feast for gentlemen of the county of Huntingdon.’ Another number
announces ‘the anniversary feast for the gentlemen, natives of the
county of Kent.’ On such occasions, bygone times would be recounted,
mutual friends discussed, and the absent not forgotten in a _toast_.

Burton ale was celebrated at least as early as 1712. So remarks
a writer who had probably found in the _Spectator_, No. 383, the
remark:--‘We concluded our walk with a glass of Burton ale, and a slice
of hung beef.’ Had he forgotten that the author of _Ivanhoe_ carries
back the fame of Burton ale to a date before the time of Richard I.?
And the accuracy of Sir Walter is remarkable, for, in 1295, Matilda,
daughter of Nicholas de Shobenhale, ‘released to the Abbot and Convent
of Burton-on-Trent that service and custody of their abbey gate,
together with the custody and annual rent thereto belonging, and all
the tenements within and without the town of Burton which came to her
by inheritance from Walter de Scobenhale.... For which release they
granted her daily for life two white loaves from the monastery, two
gallons of conventual beer, or cider, if they drank it, and one penny;
also seven gallons of beer for the men,’ &c. These ales were brewed on
the abbey premises, where probably the abbots had their own maltings:
as it was a common covenant in leases of mills, where were abbey
property, for the malt of the lords of the manor to be ground free.[190]

It is truly sad to contemplate the stream of talent which was polluted
at this time by unrestrained indulgence in strong drink. The infernal
compounds which were substituted for the light wines of a previous age
played infinite havoc, not only with the Mohocks of aristocracy, but
with the giants of intellect. Of the Court itself, Macaulay writes:--

    All places where he could have his three courses and his three
    bottles were alike to Prince George of Denmark, the husband of
    Queen Anne.[191]

Of Harley, Earl of Oxford, who was successively Speaker of the House of
Commons, Secretary of State, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Lord High
Treasurer, and who will always be remembered as the collector of the
Harleian Manuscripts, the same author, Macaulay, writes, that he was in
the habit of ‘flustering himself daily with claret, which was hardly
considered as a fault by his contemporaries.’[192]

Among the reasons given by the queen to the cabinet for dismissing her
Lord Treasurer, she alleges that he neglected all business, was seldom
to be understood; that when he did explain himself, she could not
depend upon the truth of what he said; that he never came to her at
the time she appointed: that he often came drunk.[193]

Notorious as a drunkard in high places was Lord Mohun, who was twice
tried for committing murder whilst in a state of intoxication. The duel
between this lord and the Duke of Hamilton--the wives of whom were
sisters at variance--is spoken of as probably the last of the kind
where the seconds were expected to engage as well as the principals,
and fight to the death.

There is a wide discrepancy between the writings and the reputed
actions of Joseph Addison. He was fond of wine, and indulged in it. His
contemporary, Swift, acknowledges the weakness. Dr. Johnson does not
conceal it. Macaulay laments the fact, Thackeray glories in it.[194]
His biographer, Miss Aikin, is almost singular in trying to defend him
from the imputation. She refers to the tone and temper, the correctness
of taste and judgment, of his writings in proof of his sobriety, and
doubts whether a man stained with the vice of intoxication would have
dared to write the essay on drunkenness in the _Spectator_ [No. 569].
But the facts leave no room for doubt. He was from his youth a great
man for toasts. Verses are extant, in honour of King William, from
which we learn that it was his custom to toast that king in bumpers of
wine. In a letter written at the age of 31 (1703), ‘to Mr. Wyche, his
Majesty’s Resident at Hambourg,’ he says:--

    My hand, at present, begins to grow steady enough for a letter, so
    the properest use I can put it to is to thank ye honest gentleman
    that set it a-shaking.... As your company made our stay at
    Hambourg agreeable, your wine has given us all ye satisfaction
    that we have found in our journey through Westphalia. If drinking
    your health will do you any good, we may expect to be as long-lived
    as Methusaleh--or, to use a more familiar instance, as ye hoc in ye

So much from himself. Dr. Johnson remarks of him:--

    He studied all morning; then dined at a tavern; and went afterwards
    to Button’s.

    Button had been a servant in the Countess of Warwick’s family,
    who, under the patronage of Addison, kept a coffee-house on the
    south side of Russell Street, about two doors from Covent Garden.
    Here it was that the wits of that time used to assemble. It is
    said when Addison had suffered any vexation from the countess, he
    withdrew the company from Button’s house. From the coffee-house
    he went again to a tavern, where he often sat late, and drank too
    much wine. In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice
    for courage, and bashfulness for confidence. It is not unlikely
    that Addison was first seduced to excess by the manumission
    which he obtained from the servile timidity of his sober hours.
    He that feels oppression from the presence of those to whom he
    knows himself superior, will desire to set loose his powers of
    conversation; and who that ever asked succours from Bacchus was
    able to preserve himself from being enslaved by his auxiliary?

And yet this was the man who could declare that ‘temperance and
abstinence, faith and devotion, are in themselves, perhaps, as
laudable as any other virtues.’[195] His essay on Drunkenness, in the
_Spectator_, might well have proceeded from the pen of Hall or Taylor,
Decker or Wither. He exclaims:--

    A drunken man is a greater monster than any that is to be found
    among all the creatures which God has made: as indeed there is no
    character which appears more despicable and deformed, in the eyes
    of all reasonable persons, than that of a drunkard.... This vice
    has very fatal effects on the mind, the body, and fortune of the
    person who is devoted to it. In regard to the mind, it first of
    all discovers every flaw in it. The sober man, by the strength of
    reason, may keep under and subdue every vice or folly to which he
    is most inclined; but wine makes every latent seed sprout up in the
    soul, and shew itself; it gives fury to the passions, and force
    to those objects which are apt to produce them. Wine heightens
    indifference into love, love into jealousy, and jealousy into
    madness. It often turns the good-natured man into an idiot, and the
    choleric into an assassin. It gives bitterness to resentment, it
    makes vanity insupportable, and displays every little spot of the
    soul in its utmost deformity.

And more to the same effect. But a passage of his, to be found
elsewhere, is far more terribly telling:--

    Death, the King of Terrors, was determined to choose a Prime
    Minister; and his pale courtiers, the ghastly train of diseases,
    were all summoned to attend, when each preferred his claim to the
    honour of this illustrious office. Fever urged the numbers he had
    destroyed; Cold Palsy set forth his pretensions by shaking all
    his limbs; Gout hobbled up and alleged his great power of racking
    every joint; and Asthma’s inability to speak was a strong though
    silent argument in favor of his claim; Stone and Colic pleaded
    their violence; Plague his rapid progress in destruction; and
    Consumption, though slow, insisted that he was sure. In the midst
    of this contention the court was disturbed with the noise of
    music, dancing, feasting, and revelry: when immediately entered a
    lady, with a bold lascivious air and flushed countenance. She was
    attended, on the one hand, by a troop of bacchanals, and on the
    other by a train of wanton youths and damsels who danced half naked
    to the softest musical instruments. Her name was Intemperance. She
    waved her hand, and thus addressed the crowd of diseases:--‘Give
    way, ye sickly band of pretenders, nor dare to vie with my superior
    merits in the service of this monarch; am I not your Queen? Do
    ye not receive your power of shortening human life almost wholly
    from me? Who then so fit as myself for this important office?’ The
    grisly monarch grinned a smile of approbation, placed her on his
    right hand, and she immediately became his principal favourite and
    Prime Minister.

Addison did another good service in exposing, in the Tatler,--


He says (No. 131):--

    There is in this city a certain fraternity of chemical operators,
    who work underground in holes, caverns, and dark retirements,
    to conceal their mysteries from the eyes and observation of
    mankind. These subterraneous philosophers are daily employed in
    the transmutation of liquors, and, by the power of magical drugs
    and incantations, raising under the streets of London the choicest
    products of the hills and valleys of France. They can squeeze
    Bordeaux out of the sloe, and draw Champagne from an apple. Virgil,
    in that remarkable prophecy,

        Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva.
                                            Virg., Ecl. iv. 29.
        (The ripening grape shall hang on every thorn),

    seems to have hinted at this art, which can turn a plantation of
    northern hedges into a vineyard. These adepts are known among one
    another by the name of _wine-brewers_; and, I am afraid, do great
    injury, not only to her Majesty’s customs, but to the bodies of
    many of her good subjects.

But adulteration was no new expedient. In the reign of Edward III., a
law was enacted, imposing penalties on adulterations, and directing
that an essay of all the wines imported should be made, at least twice
a year in every town.

In 1426, Sir John Rainewell, mayor, received information that the
Lombard merchants were guilty of malpractices in the adulteration of
wines; upon inquiry, he ascertained that the charge was well founded,
and ordered that the noxious compound, to the quantity of 150 butts,
should be thrown into the kennel.

In the sixteenth century, a similar enactment was passed in the fifth
year of Mary. Much dread is expressed of adulteration of good wine,
either with inferior wines or water, the penalty on discovery being the
loss of their whole stock.

    And besyde the samin sic wynes as are sould in commoun tavernis
    ar commounlie mixt with auld corrupt wines and with watter, to
    the greit appeir and danger and seikness of the byaris and greit
    perrell of the saulis of the sellaris.

In the seventeenth century Sir William Hawkins writes:--

    Since the Spanish sacks have been common in our taverns, which
    for conservation are mingled with the lime in the making, our
    nation complains of calentures, stone, dropsy, and infinite other
    distempers not heard of before this wine came into common use.

Henderson observes that according to the Custom House Books of Oporto,
for the year 1812, 135 pipes and 20 hogsheads of wine were shipped for
Guernsey. In the same year, there were landed at the London Docks alone
2,545 pipes and 162 hogsheads from that island, reported to be port

The subject of adulteration is much too large to attempt to do any
justice thereto; it must suffice to draw attention to one or two
specimens. The authorities shall be disinterested.

The following receipt for _Port_ is from a wine guide:--

    Take of good cider 4 gallons; of the juice of red beet, 2 quarts;
    logwood, 4 oz.; rhatany root brewed, ½ a pound; first infuse the
    logwood and rhatany root in brandy and a gallon of cider for a
    week; then strain off the liquor, and mix the other ingredients;
    keep in a cask for a month, when it will be fit to bottle.

In the _Mechanics’ Magazine_ is given the chemical analysis of a bottle
of cheap _Port_:--

    Spirits of wine, 3 oz.; cider, 14 oz.; sugar, 1½ oz.; alum, 2
    scruples; tartaric acid, 1 scruple; strong decoction of logwood, 4

Mr. Cyrus Redding, in his work on _Modern Wines_, lets us into the
secrets of cheap _Sherry_:--It ‘is mingled with Cape wine and cheap
brandy, the washings of brandy casks, sugar candy, bitter almonds,
&c. The colour, if too great, is taken out by the addition of a small
quantity of lamb’s blood; it is then passed off for best sherry.’

Professor Mulder, in his _Chemistry of Wine_, tells that during the
process of wine-clearing such aids as albumen, blood, cream, gypsum,
marble, nutgalls, lime, salt, gum-arabic, sulphuric acid, &c., are

The scientific writer Dunovan, in his _Domestic Economy_, makes us
acquainted with a few of the drugs with which beer is _doctored_.

    It is absolutely frightful to contemplate the list of poisons and
    drugs with which malt liquors have been (as it is technically and
    descriptively called) _doctored_. Opium, henbane, cocculus indicus,
    and Bohemian rosemary, which is said to produce a quick and raving
    intoxication, supplied the place of alcohol; aloes, quassia,
    gentian, sweet-scented flag, wormwood, horehound, and bitter
    oranges, fulfilled the duties of hops; liquorice, treacle, and
    mucilage of flax seed, stood for attenuated malt sugar. Capsicum,
    ginger, and cinnamon, or rather cassia-buds, afforded to the
    exhausted drink the pungency of carbonic acid. Burnt flour, sugar,
    or treacle, communicated a peculiar taste, which porter-drinkers
    generally fancy. Preparations of fish, assisted, in cases of
    obstinacy, with oil of vitriol, procured transparency. Besides
    these, the brewer had to supply himself with lime, potash, salt,
    and a variety of other substances, which are of no other use, than
    in serving the office of more valuable materials, and defrauding
    the customer.

But the subject is, like the frauds practised, without a limit;
references can only be subjoined.[196]

The principal writer in the _Tatler_, that _censor morum_, Richard
Steele, was a prominent figure in the convivial circle. Wine
and extravagance were his bane. He loved drink and was fond of
acknowledging it. The author of the _Christian Hero_ wrote his
devotional treatise in drink and in debt. The arrival of a hamper of
wine could interrupt his moments of tenderest grief. The emotions were
forgotten as he sent for his friends, who join him in drinking ‘two
bottles apiece, with great benefit to themselves, and not separating
till two o’clock in the morning.’

A story told of him by Dr. Hoadley is characteristic of the man:--

    My father, when Bishop of Bangor, was, by invitation, present at
    one of the Whig meetings, held at the Trumpet in Shoe Lane, when
    Sir Richard, in his zeal, rather exposed himself, having the double
    duty of the day upon him, as well to celebrate the immortal memory
    of King William, it being the 4th November, as to drink his friend
    Addison up to conversation pitch, whose phlegmatic constitution
    was hardly warmed for society by that time. Steele was not fit for
    it. Two remarkable circumstances happened. John Sly, the hatter of
    facetious memory, was in the house; and John, pretty mellow, took
    it into his head to come into the company on his knees, with a
    tankard of ale in his hand to drink off to the _immortal memory_,
    and to return in the same manner. Steele, sitting next my father,
    whispered him--_Do laugh. It is humanity to laugh._ Sir Richard,
    in the evening, being too much in the same condition, was put into
    a chair, and sent home. Nothing would serve him but being carried
    to the Bishop of Bangor’s, late as it was. However, the chairmen
    carried him home, and got him upstairs, when his great complaisance
    would wait on them downstairs, which he did, and then was got
    quietly to bed.

One of his own letters to Mrs. Scurlock reveals the man:--

    I have been in very good company, where your health, under the
    character of the woman I loved best, has been often drunk; so that
    I may say that I am dead drunk for your sake, which is more than _I
    die for you_.

Matthew Prior, the poet, demands a notice. Whether he was the son of a
vintner or a joiner is a moot point. He was certainly nephew to Samuel
Prior, landlord of the Rummer Tavern at Charing Cross, at which house,
in 1685, was held the annual feast of the nobility and gentry living in
the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. By this uncle he was brought
up and sent to Westminster School, after which he was employed, it is
said, at his uncle’s as server. Taken up by Lord Dorset, his career was
remarkable, as author, as secretary to successive embassies, as member
of Parliament, as favourite of the king. Dr. Johnson remarks that a
survey of Prior’s life and writings may exemplify a sentence which he
doubtless understood well when he read Horace at his uncle’s:--

    The vessel long retains the scent which it first receives.

Mrs. Barbauld informs us, that having spent the evening with Oxford,
Bolingbroke, Pope, and Swift, he would go to Long Acre and there drink
a bottle of ale with a common soldier and his wife. Thus does the dog
return to his vomit. Swift has left us a lively picture of manners in
his descriptive breakfast with my Lady Smart at 11 A.M. Lord Smart,
who was absent at the levee, returns to dinner at 3 P.M. to receive
the guests. Seven of them dined, and were joined by a country baronet,
who had no appetite, having already eaten a beefsteak and drunk two
mugs of ale, besides a tankard of March beer when he got up in the
morning. They drank claret, which the host said should always be drunk
after fish, and my Lord Smart particularly recommended some cider to
my Lord Sparkish. When the host called for wine, he nodded to one or
other of his guests, and said, ‘Tom Neverout, my service to you.’ After
the first course came pudding. Wine and small beer were drunk during
this second course.... After the puddings came the third course....
Beer and wine were freely imbibed during this course, the gentlemen
always pledging somebody with every glass which they drank.... After
the goose, some of the gentlemen took a dram of brandy. Dinner ended,
Lord Smart bade the butler bring up the great tankard full of October
to Sir John. The great tankard was passed from hand to hand and mouth
to mouth; but when pressed by the noble host upon the gallant Tom
Neverout, he said, ‘No faith, my lord, I like your wine, and won’t
put a churl upon a gentleman. Your honour’s claret is good enough for
me.’ The cloth removed, a bottle of Burgundy was set down, of which
the ladies were invited to partake before they went to tea. When they
left, fresh bottles were brought, the ‘dead men’--meaning the empty
bottles--removed, and ‘D’you hear, John? bring clean glasses,’ my Lord
Smart said. On which the Colonel said, ‘I’ll keep my glass; for wine is
the best liquor to wash glasses in.’

It was at this time that the works were published of one who was at
once the creature and exponent of the times, Edward (better known as
Ned) Ward. Campbell observes that ‘his works give a complete picture of
the mind of a vulgar but acute cockney. His sentiment is the pleasure
of eating and drinking.’[197] Ward possessed two qualifications for
his depiction of manners; he was a tavern-keeper, and a poet. At any
rate his doggerel secured him notice in the _Dunciad_. His _Secret
History of Clubs_ is the authority for that kind of life at the
beginning of the eighteenth century. His _London Spy_ describes the
coffee-houses of the day:--‘In we went (says he), where a parcel of
muddling muckworms were as busy as so many rats in an old cheese-loft;
some going; some coming; some scribbling, some talking, some drinking,
some smoking, others jangling; and the whole room stinking of tobacco,
like a Dutch scoot or a boatswain’s cabin.’

Some of the famous taverns are also described in this work, such as the
‘Angel’ in Fenchurch Street, ‘where the vintner, like a double-dealing
citizen, condescended as well to draw carman’s comfort, as the
consolatory juice of the vine.’ The ‘Rose,’ in the Poultry, has gained
a reputation:--‘There in a snug room, warmed with brash and faggot,
over a quart of good claret, we laughed over our night’s adventure.’

Convivial life at the Universities may find its illustration in the
person of Bentley.

The following is told about Lord Cartaret and Bentley, in Monk’s _Life
of Bentley_, vol. ii. p. 324 (2nd edit. 1833).

Lord Cartaret was a great scholar, and, being an old Westminster boy,
especially fond of Terence, which Dr. Bentley had edited. Kippis
relates this anecdote, in the _Biographia Britannica_, vol. ii. p.

    Dr. Bentley, when he came to town, was accustomed, in his visits to
    Lord Cartaret, sometimes to spend the evenings with his lordship.
    One day old Lady Granville reproached her son with keeping the
    country clergyman, who was with him the night before, till he was
    intoxicated. Lord Cartaret denied the charge; upon which the lady
    replied that the clergyman could not have sung in so ridiculous a
    manner unless he had been in liquor. The truth of the case was,
    that the singing thus mistaken by her ladyship was Dr. Bentley’s
    endeavour to instruct and entertain his noble friend by reciting
    Terence according to the true _cantilena_ of the ancients.

Kippis, however, ought not to have called Lord Cartaret’s mother Lady
Granville, as her son was the first Lord Granville, to which title he
was not yet appointed. She was the Dowager Lady Cartaret.

Bentley himself ‘is stated to have been an admirer of good port wine,
while he thought contemptuously of claret, which, he said, “would be
port if it could.”’[198]

We infer also that Bentley did not despise ale. At any rate a great
quantity was drunk at the lodge of the Master.

In 1710, when the Fellows appealed against Bentley to the Visitor of
Trinity, the Bishop of Ely, this was one of the counts:--

    Why have you for many years last past wasted the College Bread,
    Ale, Beer, Coals, Wood, Turfe, Sedge, Charcoal, Linnen, Pewter,
    Corn, Flower (_sic_), Brawn, and Bran, &c.?[199]

    In a single year--1708--the expense of ale and small beer was no
    less at Trinity Lodge than 107_l._ 16_s._[200]

The Fellows greatly protested against all this. And Dr. King, an old
opponent of Bentley’s, made great stock of the immense consumption of
bread, beer, and fuel in Bentley’s lodge:--

    He wrote a piece of humour, entitled ‘Horace in Trinity College.’
    The fiction supposes Horace, in fulfilment of his well-known
    prophecy, _Visam Britannos hospitibus feros_, to visit Britain and
    take up his abode in the Master’s lodge of Trinity College, where
    he gets immensely fat (_Epicuri de grege porcus_) by the good cheer
    maintained at the expense of the society.... Perhaps the most
    laughable matter in the piece is the representation of a medal,
    bearing on one side a figure of Horace, with a cup of audit ale
    in one hand, some college rolls in the other, and an immeasurable
    rotundity of person; and on the reverse _E Promptuar. Col. Trin.

What the excellent bishop describes as ‘an immeasurable rotundity of
person’ seems to have been far from uncommon in the Universities in
these high days. We read in a note in Monk’s book, vol. ii. p. 394:--

    The portly appearance of the three esquire-beadles at that day
    [about 1739] did much credit to university cheer. They are
    described by Christopher Smart, in a copy of Latin verses, by the
    following periphrasis:--

    ‘Pinguia tergeminorum abdomina Bedellorum.’

We have certainly in Pope’s _Dunciad_ also an allusion to Bentley’s
love of port (book iv.) in the following lines:--

    As many quit the streams[201] that murmuring fall,
    To lull the sons of Margaret and Clare-hall,
    Where Bentley late tempestuous wont to sport
    In troubled waters, but now sleeps in port.[202]

Pope always seemed to have disliked Bentley. But these lines, and,
still more, Pope’s note, rather imply that Bentley liked his port.

But everybody was not a _bon-vivant_. Many were in the world, but
not of it. What a contrast to the authors quoted was John Philips,
the author of _Cyder_, a Poem.[203] And it is a poem worth reading.
Johnson calls it a Georgic after the manner of Virgil, nor does it
suffer from the comparison. The advice contained in it is excellent.
It praises use, it condemns abuse. It well serves temperance. Thus in
book ii., after praising Nature for her annual gifts, which tend to the
exhilaration of languid minds, he continues:--

    The golden _Mean_ confined: beyond, there’s naught
    Of health, or pleasure. Therefore, when thy Heart
    Dilates with fervent joys, and eager soul
    Prompts to persue the sparkling glass, be sure
    ‘Tis time to shun it; if thou wilt prolong
    Dire compotation, forthwith Reason quits
    Her Empire to Confusion, and Misrule,
    And vain Debates; then twenty Tongues at once
    Conspire in senseless Jargon, naught is heard
    But din, and various clamour, and mad Rant:
    Distrust, and Jealousie to these succeed,
    And anger-kindling Taunt, the certain Bane
    Of well-knit Fellowship. Now horrid Frays
    Commence, the brimming glasses now are hurled
    With dire intent; Bottles with Bottles clash
    In rude Encounter.
           *       *       *       *       *
    Nor need we tell what anxious cares attend
    The turbulent Mirth of Wine; nor all the kinds
    Of Maladies, that lead to Death’s grim cave,
    Wrought by Intemperance: joint-racking Gout,
    Intestine stone, and pining Atrophy,
    Chill, even when the sun with July Heats
    Frys the scorch’d soil; and Dropsy all afloat,
    Yet craving Liquids.

When a poet could thus write, there is no wonder that divines should
have used still stronger language. John Disney, in a powerful
treatise,[204] agitates for the execution of the laws against
immorality. His remarks on the Sunday closing of public-houses are
especially applicable now:--

    If they must have refreshment, why cannot they have it at their
    own houses? In truth refreshment is but a pretence for excess and
    drunkenness. If company meets together in a public-house on Sunday
    evening, when there is no danger of other business that shall
    call them away, who shall tell them the critical minute when they
    are sufficiently refreshed? Except the constable beat up their
    quarters, they sit very contentedly hour after hour, and call for
    pint after pint, and make themselves judges of their refreshment
    till they’re able to judge of nothing at all. If you still ask what
    harm there is in going to a public-house for only an hour or two,
    and to stay no longer, I might tell you that ‘tis enough that the
    Laws have forbidden it, and that her Majesty has reinforced those

Bishop Beveridge, who died in Anne’s reign, wrote an important sermon
on ‘The Duty of Temperance and Sobriety.’[205] He says:--

    There is no sin but some have committed it in their drink; and
    if there be any that a drunken man doth not commit, it is not
    because he would not, but because he could not. He had not an
    opportunity.... For a man in such a condition hath no sense of
    the difference between good and evil; for ‘wind,’ as the prophet
    speaks (Hos. iv. 11), ‘hath taken away his heart.’ His reason, his
    understanding, his conscience, is gone; and therefore, all sins are
    alike to him. Hence it is that their sin never goes alone, but hath
    a great train of other sins always following it; insomuch that it
    cannot so properly be called one single sin, as all sin is one.

The legislation of the reign was not important. The 1st Anne permitted
tradesmen whose principal dealings were in other goods to sell spirits
by retail, without a licence, provided they did not allow tippling in
their shops or houses.

Another law enacted in this reign allowed French wines and other
liquors to be imported in neutral bottoms. Without this expedient it
was believed that the revenue would have been insufficient to maintain
the government.


[112] ‘Discovery of a London monster, called the Black Dog of Newgate.’

[113] J. R. Sheen, _Wines_. Cyrus Redding, _Modern Wines_.

[114] Beaumont and Fletcher, _The Chances_. V.

[115] _History of Signboards._

[116] _History of the English People._

[117] Strickland: _Lives of Queens_.

[118] Burton observes (_Anatomy of Melancholy_, i. 2): ‘Drunken women
most part bring forth children like unto themselves.’

[119] The author of the _History of Signboards_ is wrong in saying (p.
52) that James married a daughter of Christian IV. James married a
daughter of Frederic II. and a sister of Christian IV. Frederick was
dead before the marriage of James.

[120] Sir John Harrington, _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 348. It is cited, more or
less, in Lingard, _Hist. Eng._; Nichols’ _Progresses_; Aubrey, _Hist.
Eng._; Samuelson, _Hist. Drink_; Sandys’ _Chrismastide_, &c.

[121] Charles Lamb’s Works, _On the Poetical Works of George Wither_.

[122] Hazlitt, _Lectures on the English Poets_.

[123] Cited in Sir H. Ellis’s Brand, _Pop. Antiq._, and in Nares’

[124] George Herbert: _Country Parson_.

[125] _Virgidemiarum_, ii. 3.

[126] _Nabal and Abigail._

[127] Blackstone: _Comm. on the Laws of England_, iv. 4.

[128] Court of Hastings Book for Lyme.

[129] _Philocothonista_, or the Drunkard opened, 1635.

[130] For a picture of social degradation in this direction, see
Middleton’s _A Chast Mayd in Cheape-side_, 1630 (or T. Middleton’s
_Works_, iv. 44, &c.).

[131] Heywood and Rowley, _Fortune by Sea and Land_.

[132] Gervase Markham, _English Housewife_, 1683.

[133] Pasquil, _Palinodia_, 1619.

[134] _Familiar Letters, II._ 60.

[135] Heywood, _Rape of Lucrece_.

[136] _Healthes; Sicknesse_, 1628.

[137] _Gent’s Mag._ for 1791.

[138] _Lives of the English Poets._

[139] _The Royalist_, 1646.

[140] _English Villanies_, 1632.

[141] Howell, _State Trials_, vol. iii.

[142] _Sermon on Christian Prudence._

[143] _Funeral Sermon for the Countess of Carbery._

[144] James Usher, _Body of Divinity_, 1677.

[145] _Harleian Miscellany_, vol. x. Bridgett, who cites the passage,
says the letter was sketched by a French Protestant. The internal
evidence of the last sentence renders it certain that John Evelyn
was not the author; to whom, according to Sir H. Ellis, it has been

[146] _Antiq. Repertory_, ii.

[147] _The Drunkard’s Prospective_ (1656).

[148] Cited by Timbs, _Club Life_, and Doran, _Table Traits_.

[149] _Rape of the Lock._

[150] 7th Edition, p. 502.

[151] _Ib._ p. 259.

[152] A picture of it is given in Knight, _Old England_, and Brand,
_Hist. of Newcastle_.

[153] _Works Collected_, 1654.


‘Even from my heart much health, I wish, No health I’ll wash with
drink, Healths wish’d not wash’d, in words, not wine, To be the best I
think.’--Witt’s _Recreations_, 1669.

[155] ‘I have discovered a treasure of pale wine.... I assure you ‘tis
the same the King drinks of.’--Otway, _Friendship in Fashion_, 1678.

[156] _French Wines and Vineyards_, 1860.

[157] Butler, _Hudibras_, iii. 3.

[158] Sir George Etheridge, _Man of the Mode_, 1676.

[159] _Magnæ Britanniæ Notitia_, 1710.

[160] Roberts: _Social Hist. Southern Counties_.

[161] Hume.

[162] Works of Sir W. Temple (_On the Cure of the Gout_), vol. iii.

[163] I. Disraeli: _Curiosities of Literature_.

[164] Blackstone: _Comment. on the Laws of Eng._ 1791.

[165] Cyrus Redding: _French Wines_.

[166] _London Pageants._ Cf. also Sandford’s _History of the Coronation
of James II. and his Queen at Westminster_.

[167] _Letters of the Herbert Family._

[168] _A Book about the Table_, 1875.

[169] A view of the house is given in Pegge’s _Curialia Miscellanea_,
London, 1818. Cf. also _Gent. Mag._, Suppl. to vol. lxxx. part ii.

[170] Smollett, _Hist. of Eng._

[171] _Poor Man’s Plea_, 1698.

[172] _Second Discourse on the Affairs of Scotland_, 1698.

[173] Giles Jacob: _Poetical Register_, 1723.

[174] Dr. Henry Aldrich (Dean of Christ Church), 1700.

[175] _A Discourse against Drunkenness_, Lond. 1692.

[176] _Epistolæ Medicinales_, Lond. 1691.

[177] Lecky: _England in the Eighteenth Century_, vol. i.

[178] _Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston_, Lond.

[179] _Farewell to Wine_, 1693.

[180] _Mémoires d’Angleterre_, 1698. A translation by Ozell was
published, London, 1719.

[181] _Hist. of Eng._, chap. xxi.

[182] _Hist. of Eng._, chap. xxi.

[183] The expressions _Uncle_, _Aunt_, refer to the relationship
between the exiled king and queen, and William III.

[184] _Table Traits_, 1854.

[185] Cited in Timbs, _History of Clubs_.

[186] See Vizetelly, _History of Champagne_.

[187] _Worn-out Characters of the Last Age._

[188] Marchamont Nedham: _Short History of the English Rebellion_, 1691.

[189] _Time’s Alteration_, cited in Sandy’s _Christmas-Tide_.

[190] Cf. Molineux, _Burton-on-Trent_.

[191] _Hist. of Eng._, chap. xviii.

[192] _Ibid._ chap. xx.

[193] See the letter of Erasmus Lewis to Swift, dated Whitehall, July
27, 1714.

[194] _English Humourists_, 1858.

[195] _Spectator_, No. 243.

[196] Cf. _Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked_. The chapter on
‘Sophistication of Wines’ in Redding’s _Modern Wines_. _The Vintner’s
and Licensed Victualler’s Guide_, by a Practical Man. _Art of Brewing_
(Library of Useful Knowledge). Alex. Morrice, _Practical Treatise on
Brewing_. Samuel Child, _Every Man his own Brewer_. Edward Lonsdale
Bennet, _Practical Notes on Wine_. Professor G. Mulder, _Chemistry of
Wine_. Others may be found by reference to the chapter, ‘Bibliography.’

[197] _Essay on English Poetry._

[198] Monk’s _Life_, vol. ii. p. 401.

[199] Jebb’s _Bentley_, p. 105.

[200] Monk, _Life of Bentley_, i. 264.

[201] The river Cam.

[202] Viz. ‘now retired into harbour, after the tempests that had long
agitated his society.’ So _Scriblerus_. But the learned _Scipio Maffei_
understands it of a certain wine called _Port_ from _Oporto_, a city
of Portugal, of which this professor invited him to drink abundantly.
Scip. Maff. _de compotationibus Academicis_.

[203] London, 1708.

[204] _View of Ancient Laws against Immorality and Prophaneness._ 1729.

[205] CXXXV.



A change of dynasty brought with it no amelioration of manners. The
fatal permission to set up distilleries, which was granted after
the Revolution of 1688, and which was not withdrawn by William, was
encouraged by the Legislature in the reign of the first George. The
consequence was natural: distilleries multiplied, and drink was sold
so cheap that unrestrained indulgence prevailed. The condition of
things has been ably recorded by Mr. Lecky.[206] It was not till about
1724 that the passion for gin-drinking infected the masses of the
population, and spread with the violence of an epidemic.

    Small as is the place which this fact occupies in English
    history, it was probably, if we consider all the consequences
    that have flowed from it, the most momentous in that of the
    eighteenth century--incomparably more so than any event in the
    purely political or military annals of the country. The average
    of British spirits distilled, which is said to have been only
    527,000 gallons in 1684, had risen in 1727 to 3,601,000. Physicians
    declared that in excessive gin-drinking a new and terrible source
    of mortality had been opened for the poor. The grand jury of
    Middlesex declared that much the greater part of the poverty, the
    murders, the robberies of London, might be traced to this single
    cause. Retailers of gin were accustomed to hang out painted boards
    announcing that their customers could be made drunk for a penny,
    dead drunk for twopence, and have straw for nothing; and cellars
    strewn with straw were accordingly provided, into which those who
    had become insensible were dragged, and where they remained till
    they had sufficiently recovered to renew their orgies.

What preventive measures had soon to be taken, we shall learn later on.
But the home distilleries were not the only bane. In consequence of the
heavy duty to which foreign spirits were subjected, the smuggling trade
began to be brisk. Rum, brandy, and hollands were brought over from
the Channel Islands in small barrels, and were either landed at once
or sunk in rafts to be taken up when convenient. The smuggling trade
threw into the country immense quantities of spirits. Indeed ale and
beer were almost superseded by spirits and water, or ‘grog,’ as it then
began to be called.

The origin of the term ‘grog’ may interest, and is as follows:--The
British sailors had always been accustomed to drink their allowance
of brandy or rum clear, till Admiral Vernon ordered those under his
command to mix it with water. The innovation gave offence to the
sailors, and for a time rendered the commander unpopular. The admiral
at that time wore a grogram coat, for which reason they nicknamed him
‘Old Grog’--hence by degrees the mixed liquor that he ordered obtained
universally the name of ‘grog.’

The brewing of _porter_ began about the year 1722. It is a drink
which chiefly differs from beer by being made with higher dried
malt. It was then the common practice in taverns to call for a pot
of _half-and-half_, meaning half ale and half twopenny, or sometimes
an equal portion of ale, beer, and twopenny, which was called _three
threads_. To avoid the trouble of drawing these liquors from their
respective casks, a person named Harwood formed the plan of brewing
a drink that would at once yield the flavour of these combined
ingredients. He effected his object, calling the beverage ‘entire,’
or _entire butt_, because it was taken from one butt or vessel. And
inasmuch as it was purchased by porters and such like persons, it
became ever afterwards distinguished by the name of _porter_.

The drink called _saloop_ came into vogue at this time. Reide’s
coffee-house, in Fleet Street, was one of the first houses in which it
was sold. Called also _salep_, and _salop_; it was a greasy-looking
beverage, sold much on stalls in the early morning. It was prepared
from a powder made of the root of the _Orchis mascula_, and from
the green-winged meadow orchis. Salep was long imported from the
Levant, till it was discovered that our native plants could supply
it, specially the early purple orchis. It used, like porter, to be a
favourite drink of porters, coal-heavers, &c. It is said to contain
more nutritious matter in proportion to its bulk than any other known
root: an ounce of salep was thought to be support for a man for a
day. It is still much used in the East. In Hindoostanee it is called
_salab-ee-misree_, in Persian _sahleb_. In the present century it has
been superseded by coffee-barrows; but Charles Lamb has left some
account of this drinkable, which he says was of all preparations the
most grateful to the stomachs of young chimney-sweeps.[207]

Ales commonly became known by the name of the _district_ that produced
them--e.g. _Dorset_ beer, _Oxford_ ale. Thus, John Byrom writes:--

    _May 18, 1725._--I found the effect of last night’s drinking that
    foolish _Dorset_, which was pleasant enough, but did not at all
    agree with me, for it made me very stupid all day.[208]

_Oxford Ale_ was the subject of a panegyric written by Warton in
1720--and a panegyric from such a man would be, in the opinion of many,
a boon of immortality.

The drinking at this time has already been spoken of as an epidemic.
Wine was necessary on all occasions. The _marriage_ ceremony was
incomplete without it, as is abundantly evident from contemporary
verse. More than one ridiculed the notion so prevalent, that

    Wine must seal the marriage-bands.

But the Church had long since sanctioned a belief in its spell. The
Sarum Missal had taught that the bridal cup must be blessed by the

    Post missam, panis et vinum, vel aliud bonum potabile, in vasculo

And so the hallowing of wine and sops was usual from the court to the

_Burials_ were imperfect without the cup. M. Misson, in his
_Observations_, notes:--

    Butler, the keeper of the Crown and Sceptre Tavern in St. Martin’s
    Lane, told me that there was a tun of red port drunk at his wife’s
    burial, besides mulled white wine.--No men ever go to women’s
    burials, nor women to men’s, so that there were none but women at
    the drinking of Butler’s wine. Such women in England will hold it
    out with the men, when they have a bottle before them, as well as
    upon the other occasion, and battle infinitely better than they.

The number of _public-houses_ was excessive. In 1725 a report from a
committee of Middlesex magistrates stated that at that period there
were in the metropolis, exclusive of the City of London and Southwark,
6,187 houses and shops wherein ‘geneva, or other strong waters,’ were
sold by retail. The population was then about 700,000. In some cases
every seventh house was employed in the sale of intoxicants.

We get a life-like picture of the times from Daniel Defoe; and if it be
objected that his writing is fiction, we reply with Thackeray that the
fiction carries a greater amount of truth in solution than the volume
which purports to be all true. On the subject of drink amongst _women_,
and drink as a medicine, what can be more touching than the following
from his _Life of Colonel Jack_?--

The hero, Colonel Jack, is giving an account of his third wife:--

    I was infinitely satisfied with my wife, who was, indeed, the
    best-humoured woman in the world, and a most accomplished
    beautiful creature--indeed, perfectly well bred, and had not
    one ill quality about her; and this happiness continued without
    the least interruption for about six years. But I at last had a
    disappointment of the worst sort even here. She caught cold, and
    grew very sickly. In being so continually ill and out of order, she
    very unhappily got a habit of drinking cordials and hot liquors.

    Drink, like the devil, when it gets hold of any one, though but
    a little, goes on by little and little to their destruction; so
    in my wife, her stomach being weak and faint, she first took this
    cordial, then that--till, in short, she could not live without
    them; and from a drop to a sup, from a sup to a dram, from a dram
    to a glass, and so on to two, till at last she took, in short, to
    what we call drinking.

    As I likened drink to the devil in its gradual possession of
    the habits and person, so it is yet more like the devil in its
    encroachment on us, where it gets hold of our senses. In short, my
    beautiful, good-humoured, modest, well-bred wife, grew a beast, a
    slave to strong liquor, and would be drunk at her own table, nay,
    in her own closet by herself, till she lost her beauty, her shape,
    her manners, and at last her virtue.

    Oh! the power of intemperance! And how it encroaches on the best
    disposition in the world; how it comes upon us gradually and
    insensibly, and what dismal effects it works upon our morals,
    changing the most virtuous, regular, well-instructed, and
    well-inclined tempers into worse than brutal! Never was a woman
    more virtuous, sober, modest, and chaste, than my wife. She never
    so much as desired to drink anything strong. It was with the
    greatest entreaty that I could prevail with her to drink a glass or
    two of wine, and rarely, if ever, above one or two at a time; even
    in company she had no inclination to it. Not an immodest word ever
    came out of her mouth, nor would she suffer it in any one else in
    her hearing without resentment.

    But during her illness and weakness, her nurse pressed her,
    whenever she found herself faint, and a sinking of her spirits, to
    take this cordial, and that dram, till it became necessary to keep
    her alive, and gradually increased to a habit, so that it was no
    longer her physic but her food. Her appetite sunk and went quite
    away, and she ate little or nothing, but she came at last to a
    dreadful height, that, as I have said, she would be drunk in her
    dressing-room before eleven o’clock in the morning, and, in short,
    at last was never sober.

    Let any one judge of my case now; I, that for six years thought
    myself the happiest man alive, was now the most miserable
    distracted creature. As to my wife, I loved her well and pitied her
    heartily. I almost locked her up, and set people over her to take
    care of her; but her health was ruined, and in about a year and a
    half she died.

Rightly did the poet Gay in his _Court of Death_ make Death give the
palm to _intemperance_ amongst the claimant diseases:--

    Merit was ever modest known.
    What, no physician speak his right!
    None here! but fees their toil requite.
    Let then Intemperance take the wand,
    Who fills with gold their zealous hand:
    You, Fever, Gout, and all the rest--
    Whom wary men as foes detest--
    Forego your claims. No more pretend;
    Intemperance is esteemed a friend;
    He shares their mirth, their social joys,
    And as a courted guest destroys.
    The charge on him must justly fall,
    Who finds employment for you all.

Amongst the many who shortened their days through excess, must be
mentioned the name of Thomas Parnell. Dr. Johnson, in his _Lives of the
Poets_, observes:--

    Pope represents him as falling into intemperance of wine after
    Queen Anne’s death, in consequence of disappointed ambition. That
    in his later life he was too much of a lover of the bottle is not
    denied; but I have heard it imputed to a cause more likely to
    obtain forgiveness from mankind, the untimely death of a darling
    son; or, as others tell, the loss of his wife, who died 1712.

The latter is probably the true solution. He had married a woman of
great beauty, Miss Anne Minchin, who died soon after that event,
and grief probably preyed upon his fitful spirits, and led him into
intemperance. He died before he was forty. Well for him had he imitated
the character drawn in his exquisite poem _The Hermit_:--

    The great vain man who fared on costly food,
    Whose life was too luxurious to be good;
    Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine,
    And forced his guests to morning draughts of wine;
    Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost,
    And still he welcomes, but with less of cost.

The most advanced exponent of the conviviality of the time was William
Congreve, at one time commissioner of wine licences. His comedies are
steeped in vice. Congreve’s comic feast (says Thackeray) flares with
lights, and round the table, emptying their flaming bowls of drink, and
exchanging the wildest jests and ribaldry, sit men and women, waited
on by rascally valets and attendants--perhaps the very worst company
in the world. To him (says the same author) the world seemed to have
no moral at all. His ghastly doctrine seemed to be that we should eat,
drink, and be merry when we can, and go to the deuce (if there be one)
when the time comes!

The experience of the self-made Franklin is very suggestive as to the
drinking habits of working men in London 160 years ago. For from the
habits of printers one may infer the habits of other craftsmen.

When the famous Dr. Franklin was a printer’s boy in England--he came to
England in 1724 or 1725--he found all his companions in the printing
office drank five pints of porter daily at their work, and one of them
even six. He was himself a water-drinker, but could not get any of them
to see his argument ‘that bread contained more materials of strength
than beer, and that it was only corn in the beer that produced the
strength in the liquid.’

Now, as it is quite clear that, if these printing ‘prentices drank five
pints of porter at their work, they would have extra drink out of work
hours, we have in this anecdote an appalling picture of the drinking in
England 160 years ago. What working man now _averages_ five pints per

A useful little work was published in 1725, entitled _The
Publick-House-keeper’s Monitor_. The author prefaces, that the reigning
vices of the age make it a duty to consider and use any practicable
methods to put a stop to ‘that deluge of Impiety which overflows
almost this whole nation.’ He complains that there are _too many_ of
these houses which enjoy ‘a legal allowance,’ that _many_ ought to be
suppressed, but that it is persistently urged

    that they are beneficial to the Publick; that they raise the
    Revenues of the Crown, and must therefore be supported in
    Complaisance to the Government. So far have Political Motives in
    this, as well as many other cases, got the better of religious
    ones; the Almighty must be serv’d last, if at all: And too many
    of the Substitutes of an Earthly Power, are apt to forget whose
    Vicegerent he is, and consequently from whom originally they
    derive their Authority, which would discover to them to whom they
    principally owe their Duty.

    For indeed the same Argument, which prevails for the allowing of
    so many publick Houses, must, and, I fear, too often does prevail
    for the Neglect of a careful Inspection into the Management of
    them, and for a Connivance at the many Irregularities committed in
    them; ‘twould be a Means of sinking the Publick Revenues, if they
    were strictly confin’d to the Observance of those Laws, which were
    made for good Purposes. And what does all this amount to, but that
    _Cæsar_ must have his Due, with a _non obstante_ that the Almighty
    is defrauded?

He then proceeds to discuss the legitimate uses of taverns:--

    The First Use of Publick-Houses is, to refresh hungry or weary
    Travellers; to receive those, whose Time or Strength permits them
    not to go farther, and to furnish them with such Lodging and
    Provision, that being recruited, they may be the better able to
    proceed in their Journey.

But such houses are too numerous:

    Instead of their being too few, there are upon most Roads
    abundantly too many Houses of Reception; so many, that they not
    only destroy one another’s lawful and honest Maintenance, but lie
    like so many Snares in the way of Travellers. There are but few
    Parts of this Kingdom, if any, where Market-Towns are not near
    enough together, to serve all the Ends and Purposes of Publick
    Houses; and I may say, there are but few, if any, Market-Towns,
    which are not greatly over-stock’d with them. However, as to
    the Usefulness of them in general, let it suffice to observe,
    that where they stand conveniently situated, and are wisely and
    honestly manag’d, they are undoubtedly a very great Advantage to a

Another use, he tells us, is to receive and provide for those who live
in the same place and who are not housekeepers themselves, but who,
being sojourners, journeymen, or servants, find it a great conveniency
to repair to such houses for their meals.

Then again they are useful (he urges) to receive persons who meet

    upon making Contracts or Bargains in the Way of Commerce; and
    whether this be done at common and ordinary Times, or at the more
    publick and stated Seasons of Fairs and Markets; or lastly, whether
    the publick Business of the Nation, or the more private Affairs of
    Lordships, Parishes, &c., do require the Meeting together of many
    Persons; so that the most convenient Places for these are generally
    esteemed such Houses as I am treating of. However, this may be
    affirm’d of them all in general, that the Design of them is to be
    useful; and that their Usefulness consists in their being duly
    and regularly kept, according to the several Laws of the Nation,
    provided for that purpose, and founded upon the necessities and
    Conveniences of the People.

He proceeds to lay down stated rules to be observed by such persons as
keep taverns. He urges upon them first of all, personal sobriety, a
strict regard to chastity, a scrupulous regard to honesty, that every
one have goods, in quantity and quality, according to the value of
their money. He exposes fearlessly the injustice of the

    high Rents, to which Publick-Houses are generally advanced, so
    as very often to exceed double the Rents of private ones of the
    same real Goodness. This tempts the Land-lords of Houses to let
    them for that Purpose; and this tempts, and, as they will probably
    urge, obliges the Tenants, by some Means or other, to make more
    than ordinary Gains upon their Guests; but surely neither of them
    consider what they are about; how they jointly conspire to carry
    on a Trade of Iniquity, and are Partakers of each other’s Sins. He
    that lets his House for a publick one, only because he can thereby
    advance his Rent, is not aware how deeply he is concern’d in all
    the Wickedness that is consequent thereupon; and he who gives above
    the just Value of an House upon the same Account, does not regard
    how many Tricks and Frauds, what Impositions and Extortions, what
    Allowance of Wickedness and Debauchery, what a continued Scene of
    Iniquity, in short, he will be tempted to go through, in Order
    to discharge so heavy a burthen of expences, and yet to maintain
    himself and his family.

Secondly, he urges that the landlord should avoid and decline every
thing that may encourage intemperance.

    The World is indeed sufficiently inclin’d to Sensuality of all
    Sorts, and Multitudes do frequent Publick-Houses, especially with
    a previous Purpose and Design of committing Excess. But even
    those, who design it not, are often betray’d into it by the Arts
    and Contrivances of them, who are to be Gainers by it, by drawing
    them on from one Quantity to another, by helping ‘em to Companions
    that will set forward Intemperance, or by doing it themselves; but
    especially by giving Credit to those of the meaner Sort, who must
    otherwise be sober upon Necessity.

    ‘Tis surprizing to observe, what Scores a Sot shall be allow’d
    to contract at some Houses for Liquor, who would not be trusted
    for half the Sum by any of his Neighbours, to provide Bread for
    his Family; one, who thus reduces them to a Necessity of begging,
    stealing, or perishing, whilst he riotously consumes what might
    preserve them from all; but this he finds Means to do, through the
    Encouragement of those who have so little love for their neighbours
    that they care not how many families they starve to support their

The little book is thoroughly worthy to be reprinted. Would that every
one engaged in ‘the trade’ would lay its maxims to heart!

About this time was published a guide-book, under the title of
_Vade-mecum of Malt-worms_, containing a list of all the ale-houses
in London, &c. Some of these, says Wright, in his _Caricature History
of the Georges_, under the name of _mug-houses_, became the resort of
small societies or clubs of political partisans. Some of these were
the scenes of terrible party turbulence.

But we cannot leave the first Hanoverian reign without noticing another
treatise much needed--quite as much--viz. that of Dr. Peter Browne,
Bishop of Cork, who in 1716 wrote _A Discourse of Drinking Healths_.

By this time the abuse of the practice of _toasting_ had become a
national disgrace.

The way in which anything or anybody that one drank a health to,
came to be called a _toast_ has baffled derivation hunters of all
degrees, and we are no wiser to-day than we were in 1709, when Isaac
Bickerstaffe, in the twenty-fourth number of the newly-established
_Tatler_, attempted to settle the matter by saying how, at Bath, in
the time of Charles II., a celebrated beauty happened to be in the
Cross-Bath, and out of the crowd of her admirers who were in the
room, one of them took from her bath a cup of the water in which the
lady was standing and drank her health to the company. Another of her
admirers who was present, being half intoxicated, instead of pledging
or drinking in response to the sentiment, announced his attention of
jumping into the water and carrying off the bather, swearing that
though he liked not the liquor, yet he would have _the toast_. He was
opposed in his resolution, yet this whim gave foundation to the present
honour which is due to the lady we mention in our liquor, who has
ever since been called a toast. It is far more likely that, as Ellis
observes, the use of the word on this occasion was a _consequence_ of
its previous employment for a like purpose, and not the cause of its
being adopted. It is probable that _toast_ came to be used in the sense
it is stated to have been by the bath gallant, gradually, at first
meaning a mere material relish or improvement to a glass of liquor,
and afterwards getting to be applied to the ‘sentimental relish,’ or,
as Sheridan truly calls it, the ‘excuse for the glass.’ Toasted bread
formed a favourite addition to English drinks so early as the sixteenth
century, and in the cups of sack and punch, brown toasts frequently
floated at the top. In Wyther’s _Abuses Stript and Whipt_ (published
1618) mention is made, as has been already noticed, of a draught ‘that
must be spiced with a nut-browne tost.’

Hall states that there were some who drank healths upon their knees;
some put their own blood into their drink and then drank a health to
the king. So that the young Hectors not only cultivated habits of
barbarity, but also linked themselves with blasphemy. But there was one
other way of drinking healths still to be told, a piece of unparalleled
tomfoolery--that of toasting a lady in some nauseous decoction. When
this fashion was popular, two students at Oxford were each enamoured
of the reigning belle of that sober University, and, as a test of the
relative depth of their devotion, they applied themselves to toasting
her in the manner we have mentioned. One, determined to prove that his
love did not stick at trifles, took a spoonful of soot, mixed it with
his wine, and drank off the mixture. His companion, determined not to
be outdone, brought from his closet a phial of ink, which he drank,
exclaiming, ‘Io triumphe and Miss Molly.’ These crackbrained young
men also esteemed it a great privilege to get possession of any great
beauty’s shoe, in order that they might ladle wine out of a bowl down
their throats with it, the while they drank to the ‘lady of little
worth’ or the ‘light-heeled mistress’ who had been its former wearer.

Is there any wonder that Dr. Peter Browne spoke out? He strongly
condemned the practice on theological, moral, and common-sense grounds,
of opinion that it had its origin in Pagan usages, though he is vague
as to the particular custom out of which it arose. He classifies the
various acceptations of a _health_ under six heads:--(1) When a curse
or imprecation is intended upon the person drinking, or (2) upon any
other person; (3) when one drinks in honourable remembrance of absent
living friends; or (4) by way of wishing others health and prosperity;
or (5) in token of our respect and good-will to another, or approbation
of any affair; and (6) as an outward indication of our loyalty. All
such health-drinking, the learned prelate urges, is incompatible with
the duty of good Christians, whom he exhorts to suppress the practice.
He also cites an interesting formula used by the Jews in drinking,
which is the first instance, to my knowledge, of a curse being intended
instead of an expression of good-will; the words, upon the authority of
Buxtorf, meaning, in their ordinary signification, ‘much good may it
do you;’ but the utterer thereof, by a kind of mental reservation or
adaptation, implied a curse--nay, as many curses as the letters stand
for, viz. 165.[210]

From incidental notices we discover how very exceptional was the
absence of toasts. Thus, in a description of home life at Badminton, we

    If the gentlemen chose a glass of wine the civil offers were made
    to go down into the vaults, which were very large and sumptuous,
    or servants, at a sign given, attended with salvers, &c., and many
    a brisk went round about; but no sitting at table with tobacco and
    healths, as the common use is.[212]

But the full extent of the unbridled excess of the period can best be
estimated from a survey of the legislative enactments of the reign of
the second George. They are worthy of careful consideration.

In the second year of this reign such a duty was placed upon spirits
as to be nearly tantamount to a prohibition of their retail sale. A
duty of 20_l._ was imposed on the spirit retail licence, which for
the first time was ordered to be renewed annually. Moreover, dealers
in spirits were placed under the same regulations as _Publicans_,
in respect to Licences. This Act, after reciting the inconveniences
arising from persons being licensed to keep inns and common ale-houses
by justices living at a distance, who were not truly informed as to the
need of such inns, or the character of the persons licensed, provides
that no licence to keep an inn, ale-house, or victualling-house, or
to retail strong waters, should be granted, but at a general meeting
of justices of the division. This Act failed to answer the purpose of
its promoters. Hawkers went about the streets selling coloured spirits
under feigned names; so in the sixth year of the same reign the Act
was repealed, and in its place an Act was passed (1732) which imposed
a penalty of 10_l._ upon the retail sale of spirits, except sold in
dwelling-houses. By this masterpiece of wisdom (!) every householder
was potentially converted into a publican; nor did they fail to avail
themselves of the permission. Intemperance spread like a plague.

When matters had reached a pitch absolutely intolerable, a petition
was presented to Parliament (Feb. 20, 1736) from the magistrates of
Middlesex assembled at quarter sessions. In this petition it was

    That the drinking of Geneva, and other distilled liquors, had for
    some years past greatly increased:

    That the constant and excessive use thereof had destroyed thousands
    of his Majesty’s subjects:

    That great numbers of others were by its use rendered unfit for
    useful labor, debauched in morals, and drawn into all manner of
    vice and wickedness:

    That those pernicious liquors were not only sold by distillers and
    geneva shop-keepers, but by many persons in inferior trades, by
    which means journeymen apprentices and servants were drawn in to
    taste and by degrees to like, approve, and immoderately to drink

    That the public welfare and safety, as well as the trade of the
    nation, would be greatly affected by it:

    That the practice was dangerous to the health, strength, peace, and
    morals; and tended greatly to diminish the labour and industry of
    his Majesty’s subjects.[213]

Upon the petition being referred to a committee of the entire House, it
was resolved:--

    That the _low price_ of spirituous liquors is the principal
    inducement to the excessive and pernicious use thereof.

    That in order to prevent this excessive and pernicious use, a
    discouragement be given thereto by a duty to be laid on spirits
    sold by retail.

    That the selling of such liquors be _restrained_ to persons keeping
    public brandy-shops, victualling-houses, coffee-houses, ale-houses,
    innholders, _and to such Surgeons and Apothecaries as shall make
    use of it by way of medicine only_.[214]

The Government were at last in earnest: a bill was introduced, the
intention of which was to strike a fatal blow, to annihilate the gin
traffic. But the blow was too sudden. A rebound was almost inevitable.
The Gin Act, which has rendered the year 1736 famous in the annals of
history, was introduced into and carried through Parliament by Sir
Joseph Jekyll. It runs thus:--

    Whereas the excessive drinking of spirituous liquors by the common
    people tends not only to the destruction of their health and the
    debauching of their morals, but to the public ruin:

    For remedy thereof--

    Be it enacted, that from September 29th no person shall presume,
    by themselves or any others employed by them, to sell or retail
    any brandy, rum, arrack, usquebaugh, geneva, aqua vitæ, or any
    other distilled spirituous liquors, mixed or unmixed, in any less
    quantity than two gallons, without first taking out a licence for
    that purpose within ten days at least before they sell or retail
    the same; for which they shall pay down 50_l._, to be renewed ten
    days before the year expires, paying the like sum, and in case of
    neglect to forfeit 100_l._, such licenses to be taken out within
    the limits of the penny post at the chief office of Excise, London,
    and at the next office of Excise for the country. And be it enacted
    that for all such spirituous liquors as any retailers shall be
    possessed of on or after September 29th, 1736, there shall be paid
    a duty of 20_s._ per gallon, and so in proportion for a greater or
    lesser quantity above all other duties charged on the same.

    The collecting the rates by this Act imposed to be under the
    management of the commissioners and officers of Excise by all the
    Excise laws now in force (except otherwise provided by this Act),
    and all moneys arising by the said duties or licenses for sale
    thereof shall be paid into the receipt of his Majesty’s Exchequer
    distinctly from other branches of the public revenue; one moiety of
    the fines, penalties, and forfeitures to be paid to his Majesty and
    successors, the other to the person who shall inform on any one for
    the same.

The Act was virtually prohibitive. But the people were too far gone to
bear it. It was ineffectual to check even the progress of intemperance.
The vices of the populace rendered them desperate. The Act, says Dr.
Lees, produced vast excitement.

The populace of London, Bristol, Norwich, and other towns, honoured
what they called the ‘death of Madame Gin’ with formal ‘funeral’
processions, whereat many of her devoted admirers, male and female,
got ‘gloriously drunk.’ The distillers took out _wine_ licences,
offered gin--spiced and wined--for sale, under a new name; while
_drams_ were sold in the brandy-shops, under the quaint appellations
of ‘Sangree,’ ‘Tom Row,’ ‘Cuckold’s Comfort,’ ‘Parliament Gin,’
‘The Last Shift,’ ‘Ladies’ Delight,’ ‘King Theodore of Corsica,’
‘Cholic-and-Gripe-Waters,’ &c. Lord Cholmondeley said, on the part of
the Government, that the law exposed them to _rebellion_, and that they
had information of its being designed; but by parading the troops in
the dangerous locality, they had probably prevented riot and bloodshed.
In March 1738 a proclamation was passed to enforce the Act and to
protect the efforts of the officers of justice.

The consumption of spirits in England and Wales rose from 13,500,000
gallons in 1734, to 19,000,000 in 1742, and there were within the
bills of mortality more than 20,000 houses and shops in which gin was
sold by retail. As might be expected, _informers_ became objects of
popular hatred, and were hunted through the streets. Of course, the
more respectable traffickers abandoned the proscribed business, which
fell into the hands of reckless and disreputable men, who set at nought
the provisions of the law. ‘Within two years of the passing of the
Act,’ says the historian, though 12,000 persons had been convicted
of offences against it, ‘it had become odious and contemptible;’ and
policy, as well as humanity, forced the commissioners of excise to
mitigate its penalties.

The House of Lords soon rang with impetuous debate; and the Act was
doomed to modification. In 1743, the Lords read a Bill for repealing
certain Duties on Spirituous Liquors and on Licences for retailing the
same. In the debate, Lord Hervey remarked:--

    As it is the quality of this malignant liquor to corrupt the mind,
    it likewise destroys the body.... Drunkenness not only corrupts men
    by taking away those restraints by which they are withheld from
    the perpetration of villanies, but by superadding the temptations
    of poverty--temptations not easily resisted even by those whose
    eyes are open to the consequences of their actions, but which will
    _certainly_ prevail over those whose apprehensions are laid asleep,
    and who never extend their views beyond the gratification of the
    present moment.... Instead, therefore, of promoting a practice
    _so evidently detrimental_ to society, let us oppose it with the
    most vigorous efforts; let us begin our opposition by opposing
    this bill, and then consider whether the execution of the former
    law shall be enforced, _or whether another more efficacious can
    be formed_.... No man, unacquainted with the motives by which
    senatorial debates are too often influenced, would suspect that
    after the pernicious qualities of this liquor, and the general
    inclination among the people to the immoderate use of it, it could
    be afterwards enquired, _Whether this universal thirst for poison
    ought to be encouraged by the legislature?_

    LORD LONSDALE said--In every part of this great metropolis, whoever
    shall pass along the streets, will find wretchedness stretched upon
    the pavement, insensible and motionless, and only removed by the
    charity of passengers from the danger of being crushed by carriages
    or trampled by horses, or strangled with filth in the common
    sewers; and others, _less helpless perhaps, but more dangerous, who
    have drunk too much to fear punishment, but not enough to hinder
    them from provoking it_.... No man can pass a single hour in public
    places without meeting such objects, or hearing such expressions
    as disgrace human nature,--such as cannot be looked upon without
    horror, or heard without indignation, _and which there is no
    possibility of removing or preventing_, WHILST THIS HATEFUL LIQUOR
    IS PUBLICLY SOLD.... These liquors not only infatuate the mind, but
    poison the body; they not only fill our streets with madmen and our
    prisons with criminals, but our hospitals with cripples.... Nor
    does the use of spirits, my lords, only impoverish the public by
    lessening the number of useful and laborious hands, but by cutting
    off those recruits by which its natural and inevitable losses are
    to be supplied. The use of distilled liquors impairs the fecundity
    of the human race, and hinders that increase which Providence has
    ordained for the support of the world. Those women who riot in this
    poisonous debauchery are quickly disabled from bearing children,
    or, what is still more destructive to general happiness, produce
    children diseased from their birth, and who, therefore, are an
    additional burden, and must be supported through a miserable life
    by that labour which they cannot share, and must be protected by
    that community of which they cannot contribute to the defence.[215]

Notwithstanding volleys of violent opposition, especially from the
Bishops, the Bill was carried: sixty per cent. of the House voting in
its favour. The law was again relaxed. Parliament was overwhelmed with
petitions which were the expression of a disappointed philanthropy.

    The petitions of the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London, state,
    ‘that the common and habitual use of spirituous liquors by the
    lower ranks of people, prevails to such a degree, that _it
    destroys the health, strength, and industry of the poor of both
    sexes and all ages, inflames them with rage and barbarity, and
    occasions frequent robberies and murders in the streets of the
    Metropolis_.’ The petition from the Minister and Churchwardens of
    St. Martin’s, Westminster, recites that in consequence of the low
    price of spirits, their use has become excessive--‘the substance of
    the people is wasted--idleness and disorder have taken the place
    of industry--and robberies and murders are committed under their
    influence.’ The petition from Bristol states, ‘that the bad effects
    of spirituous liquors have become apparent in the destruction of
    the habits of the people--corrupting their morals, and rendering
    them incapable of manly employments’--reducing them to poverty,
    _and hardening them to the commission of crimes of the utmost
    enormity_. That of the Merchants adds--‘commerce was injured.’
    These crowds of petitions almost universally affirm that the _great
    increase in the number of Gin-shops, and the low price of the
    article_, were the causes of its excessive use _amongst the lower

    On these representations, the House again resolved ‘That it was
    necessary to regulate the sale of spirits by retail.’ Measures were
    adopted for the _suppression of smuggling_, and the celebrated
    Tippling Act was passed.[216]

By this Act, no persons could recover for the price of spirits sold in
less quantities than 20_s._ at one time.

But just in proportion as spirits were rendered legally inaccessible,
appetite was diverted into the channel of beer. The rent was made
possibly worse. Hitherto it had been necessary to impose restrictions
upon the article sold; now the vendor must furnish guarantees. The
26th of the same George, after declaring former laws to be defective
and insufficient, required the justices, when they granted licences,
to take the recognisances of the _persons_ licensed in 10_l._, and two
sureties of 5_l._, for _good conduct_, with other restrictions.

The page of events at this time is eminently instructive. A government
cannot be far in advance of the people whom it governs. Extreme
repression has been and ever will be evaded. In the present instance,
not only was a demand for beer created, but resort was had to any
and every expedient to glut the appetite upon the favourite spirit.
The clandestine sale of gin was the natural consequence. The gaols
groaned under the burden of atonement for unpaid penalties. Within two
years of the passing of the Gin Act some twelve thousand persons had
been punished for its violation. The measure proved a failure, for
(as Smollett observes) though no licence was obtained, and no duty
paid, the liquor continued to be sold in all corners of the streets;
informers were intimidated by the threats of the people, and the
justices of the peace, either from indolence or corruption, neglected
to put the law into execution.

It is important to compare the consumption of low wines (weak spirits)
and spirits, before and after the passing of the Act. The total
consumption for England and Wales in 1733 was 11,282,890 gallons; and
in 1742 the consumption was 19,897,300 gallons. No wonder that the Act
was repealed. Had the Government imposed a graduated scale of duty upon
spirits, a scale ever sliding upwards, their price might have been
raised by almost insensible stages, till the means of purchase would
have been well-nigh precluded.

But in other directions a wiser legislation found favour. Distillation
from grain, malt, or flour was prohibited, and when it was proposed in
Parliament to relax this measure, abundant were the petitions for its
retention. It was therefore resolved that the law should be in force
till December 1759: and the success of the measure is established from
the fact that the consumption of spirits in England and Wales fell,
from the nineteen millions of 1742, to an annual average of about four
millions during the interval between the years 1760 and 1782.

Much is said in the present day of female intemperance. The Lords’
Committee had aroused public attention to the subject. But it was rife
enough in the period under discussion. A poet of the century makes no
secret of the proclivity.[217]

    Britannia this upas-tree bought of Mynheer,
    Removed it through Holland and planted it here;
    ‘Tis now a stock plant of the genus wolf’s bane,
    And one of them blossoms in Marybone Lane.

    The House that surrounds it stands first in the row,
    Two doors at right angles swing open below;
    And the children of misery daily steal in,
    And the poison they draw they denominate _Gin_.

    There enter the prude, and the reprobate boy,
    The mother of grief and the daughter of joy,
    The serving-maid slim, and the serving-man stout,
    They quickly steal in, and they slowly reel out.

The following incident related in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1748,
points to a terrible condition of things:--

    At a christening at Beddington in Surrey, the nurse was so
    intoxicated that after she had undress’d the child, instead of
    laying it in the cradle, she put it behind a large fire, which
    burnt it to death in a few minutes. She was examin’d before a
    magistrate, and said she was quite stupid and senseless, so that
    she took the child for a log of wood; on which she was discharged!!

Nor was any class of society exempt from the imputation; but the
curtain need not be drawn.

And what a stream of ability and learning was polluted by those
mischievous compounds! Men of letters, tragedians, statesmen,
fell--ignobly fell--before the insidious destroyer.

    Bolingbroke, when in office, sat up whole nights drinking, and in
    the morning, having bound a wet napkin round his forehead and his
    eyes, to drive away the effects of his intemperance, he hastened
    without sleep to his official business.[218]

Lord Stair, in a letter to Horace Walpole, writes:--

    Poor Harry (Bolingbroke) is turned out from being Secretary of
    State.... They call him knave and traitor.... I believe all poor
    Harry’s fault was that he could not play his part with a grave
    enough face.... He got drunk now and then.

Lord Cartaret, afterwards Earl Granville, was a great scholar, and a
man of invariable high spirits.

    The period of his ascendency was known by the name of the _Drunken
    Administration_; and the expression was not altogether figurative.
    His habits were extremely convivial; and champagne probably lent
    its aid to keep him in that state of joyous excitement in which his
    life was passed.... Driven from office, he retired laughing to his
    books and his bottle.... Ill as he had been used, he did not seem,
    says Horace Walpole, to have any resentment, or indeed any feeling
    except thirst.[219]

Macaulay implies that Cartaret occasionally varied his champagne for ‘a
daily half gallon of Burgundy.’

William Pulteney, created ‘Earl of Bath’ on the resignation of Walpole,
has been generally reckoned amongst the men of the bottle. Indeed, Mr.
Lecky remarks (i. 478) that he ‘is said to have shortened his life by
drinking.’ But how can this be? He lived to the fairly respectable
age of 82. Has he not been confounded with some namesake? For what
says this same author in another volume?--‘Lord Bath, the old rival
of Walpole, subscribed liberally to the orphanage of Georgia, and was
a frequent and apparently devout attendant at Whitefield’s Chapel in
Tottenham Court Road.’ In fact in his old age he became a Methodist.
Was such a man likely to be a hard drinker?

Of Walpole, Mr. Lecky remarks, that when he was a young man, his father
was accustomed to pour into his glass a double portion of wine, saying,
‘Come, Robert, you shall drink twice while I drink once; for I will not
permit the son in his sober senses to be witness of the intoxication of
his father.’

It speaks volumes for the son of such a father, that when Mr. Chute
gibed him for stupidity, which he set down to ‘temperance diet,’
Walpole protested, saying, ‘I have such lamentable proofs every day of
the stupefying qualities of beef, ale, and wine, that I have contracted
a most religious veneration for your spiritual _nourriture_.’

Methodism, drinking, and gambling, were all on the increase. So says
Walpole. Of the first, he sarcastically says,--‘It increases as fast as
any religious nonsense did.’ Of the second he remarks,--‘Drinking is at
the highest wine-mark.’ But people were gluttons as well as drunkards.

The aristocracy of letters were infected, no less than that of rank.
Truly did Chesterfield observe, that wine and wassail have taken
more strong places than gun or steel. Jonathan Swift is generally
regarded as a free liver, though probably the company he kept is often
answerable for the imputation. The following notices must serve as
material for judgment. Dr. King states that about three years before
his death, he observed that he was affected by the wine which he drank
after dinner; next day, on his complaining of his health, he took the
liberty to tell him he had drunk too much wine. Swift was startled, and
replied that he always regarded himself as a very temperate man, and
never exceeded the quantity his physician prescribed. But, according
to King, his physician never drank less than two bottles of claret
after dinner. But King was a water-drinker.[220] Scott says of Swift’s
entertainments that they were economical, ‘although his guests, so
far as conviviality was consistent with decorum, were welcomed with
excellent wine. Swift, who used to declare he was never intoxicated in
his life, had nevertheless lived intimately with those at whose tables
wine was liberally consumed, and he was not himself averse to the
moderate use of it.’ The same author adds that Dr. King said that Swift
drank about a pint of claret after dinner, which the doctor considered
too much.

On the other hand his satirists accused him of excess. One of them
says, ‘He was heard to make some self-denying promises in prayer, that,
for the time to come, he would stint himself to two or three bottles in
an evening.’[221] Again, the Archbishop of Cashel seems to have known
his weak point. In a letter, inviting him on a visit, and giving him
minute instructions as to the route, he baits him by the intelligence
that he would pass a parson’s cabin where was a private cellar of which
the parson kept the key, in which was always a hogshead of the best
wine that could be got, in bottles well-corked, upon their side.[222]

His poems often betrayed the flavour of the bottle. Witness his
_Country Quarter Sessions_, which begins:--

    Three or four parsons full of October,
    Three or four squires between drunk and sober.

Again, in his _Baucis and Philemon_; Goody Baucis in bestirring herself
to provide the hermit’s hospitality--

    Then stepp’d aside to fetch ‘em drink,
    Fill’d a large jug up to the brink,
    And saw it fairly twice go round.

Somerville, the author of _The Chase_, was no doubt fond of the bottle,
as we see very clearly from the letter of his friend Shenstone after
his death:--

    Our old friend Somerville is dead! I did not imagine I could
    have been so sorry as I find myself on this occasion.--_Sublatum
    quærimus._ I can now excuse all his foibles; impute them to age,
    and to distress of circumstances: the last of these considerations
    wrings my very soul to think on. For a man of high spirit,
    conscious of having (at least in one production) generally pleased
    the world, to be plagued and threatened by wretches that are low in
    every sense; _to be forced to drink himself into pains of the body,
    in order to get rid of the pains of the mind, is a misery_.

James Quin the tragedian was a _bon vivant_. After being engaged at
Drury Lane Theatre, a tavern brawl involved him in law proceedings,
and he was obliged for a time to leave the country. His epitaph, by
Garrick, depicts the man:--

    A plague on Egypt’s arts! I say;
    Embalm the dead, on senseless clay
      Rich wines and spices waste!
    Like sturgeon, or like brawn, shall I,
    Bound in a precious pickle, lie,
      Which I shall never taste.

    Let me embalm this flesh of mine
    With turtle fat and Bordeaux wine,
      And spoil th’ Egyptian trade.
    Than Humphry’s Duke more happy I;
    Embalm’d alive, old Quin shall die,
      A mummy ready made.

Richard Savage lived a very profligate life. Johnson says that ‘in no
time of his life was it any part of his character to be the first of
the company that desired to separate.’ It was when inebriated that he
killed one Mr. James Sinclair, 1727, and was within an ace of being
hanged for the same. Lord Tyrconnel, who had been very kind to him, and
suddenly dropped him, gives a very bad account of his drinking habits.

    He affirmed that it was the constant practice of Mr. Savage to
    enter a tavern with any company that proposed it, drink the most
    expensive wines with great profusion, and when the reckoning was
    demanded, be without money: if, as it often happened, his company
    were willing to defray his part, the affair ended without any
    ill consequences; but if they were refractory, and expected that
    the wine should be paid for by him that drank it, his method of
    composition was to take them with him to his own apartment, assume
    the government of the house, and order the butler in an imperious
    manner to set the best wine in the cellar before his company,
    who often drank till they forgot the respect due to the house in
    which they were entertained, indulged themselves in the utmost
    extravagance of merriment, practised the most licentious frolics,
    and committed all the outrages of drunkenness.

No wonder Lord Tyrconnel dropped him. Even Savage himself admitted that
Lord Tyrconnel ‘often exhorted him to regulate his method of life, _and
not to spend all his nights in taverns_, and that he appeared desirous
that he would pass those hours with him, which he so freely bestowed
upon others.’ The poor fellow eventually, having estranged all his
friends by his petulance as well as his bad habits, got deplorably
poor, and ‘wandered about the town, slighted and neglected, in quest of
a dinner, which he did not always obtain.’ It was at this period that
we read the extraordinary account of him, that ‘he was not able to bear
the smell of meat till the action of his stomach was restored by a
cordial.’ On one occasion in great distress at Bristol, ‘he received a
remittance of five pounds from London, with which he provided himself
a decent coat, and determined to go to London, but unhappily spent his
money at a favourite tavern.’

The tale goes on, ‘Thus was he again confined to Bristol, where he
was every day hunted by bailiffs. In this exigence he once more
found a friend, who sheltered him in his house, though at the usual
inconveniences with which his company was attended; for he could
neither be persuaded to go to bed in the night nor to rise in the day.’

But if many were the victims of excess, many too were the champions of
restraint; and, first of all, we turn to Dr. Samuel Johnson. In his
early life he drank wine; let him testify for himself.

In an interesting conversation with an old college friend, one Edwards,
held April 17, 1778, he made a remark which Sir Wilfrid Lawson would

    _Edwards._ How do you live, sir? For my part, I must have my
    regular meals and a glass of good wine. I find I require it.

    _Johnson._ I now drink no wine, sir. Early in life I drank wine;
    for many years I drank none. I then for some years drank a good

    _Edwards._ I am grown old: I am sixty-five.

    _Johnson._ I shall be sixty-eight next birthday. Come, sir, DRINK

When he first came to London, at the age of 29, he abstained entirely
(_teste_ Boswell) from fermented liquors, ‘a practice to which he
rigidly conformed for many years together at different periods of his
life.’ Upon this point Croker has a suggestive note, apropos of the
effect of drink on hypochondria:--

    At this time his abstinence from wine may perhaps be attributed
    to poverty, but in his subsequent life he was restrained from
    that indulgence by, as it appears, moral, or rather medical,
    considerations. He found by experience that wine, though it
    dissipated for a moment, yet eventually aggravated the hereditary
    disease under which he suffered; and perhaps it may have been
    owing to a long course of abstinence that his mental health seems
    to have been better in the latter than in the earlier portion of
    his life. He says, in his _Prayers and Meditations_ (August 17,
    1767), ‘By abstinence from wine and suppers I obtained sudden and
    great relief, and had freedom of mind restored to me; which I have
    wanted for all this year, without being able to find any means of
    obtaining it.’ These remarks are important, because _depression of
    spirits_ is too often treated on a contrary system, from ignorance
    of or _inattention to what may be_ its _real_ cause.

Dr. Johnson was very often chiefly indebted to _tea_ for his literary
afflatus. ‘The quantities which he drank of the infusion of that
fragrant leaf,’ says Boswell, ‘at all hours were so great, that his
nerves must have been uncommonly strong, not to have been extremely
relaxed by such an intemperate use of it.’ In his defence of Tea
against Mr. Jonas Hanway, Johnson describes himself as ‘a hardened and
shameless tea-drinker, who has for many years diluted his meals with
only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely
time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the
midnights, and with tea welcomes the morning.’ This last phrase
his friend, Tom Tyers, happily parodied, ‘_te_ veniente die--_te_

Boswell often pauses to descant upon

_Dr. Johnson’s Temperance_.

    _September 16, 1773._--Last night much care was taken of Dr.
    Johnson, who was still distressed by his cold. He had hitherto most
    strangely slept without a nightcap. Miss Macleod made him a large
    flannel one, and he was prevailed with to drink a little brandy
    when he was going to bed. He has great virtue in not drinking wine
    or any fermented liquor because, as he acknowledged to us, he could
    not do it in moderation. Lady Macleod would hardly believe him, and
    said, ‘I am sure, sir, you would not carry it too far.’--_Johnson._
    ‘Nay, madam, it carried me. I took the opportunity of a long
    illness to leave it off. It was then prescribed to me not to drink
    wine; and, having broken off the habit, I have never returned to

Again, says Boswell:--

    A.D. 1776.--Finding him still persevering in his abstinence from
    wine, I ventured to speak to him of it.--_Johnson._ Sir, I have no
    objection to a man’s drinking wine, if he can do it in moderation.
    I found myself apt to go into excess in it, and therefore, after
    having been for some time without it on account of illness, I
    thought it better not to return to it. Every man is to judge for
    himself, according to the effects which he experiences. One of the
    fathers tells us he found fasting made him so peevish that he did
    not practise it.

Dr. B. W. Richardson’s ideas about the harm done to constitutions by
excessive palpitation of the heart (especially under the action of
alcohol) seem to have had shadows cast before. Boswell’s hero rather
pooh-poohed the idea, in a conversation after dinner at Thrale’s, April
10, 1776:--

    Johnson mentioned Dr. Barry’s System of Physic. ‘He was a man,’
    said he, ‘who had acquired a high reputation in Dublin, came over
    to England, and brought his reputation with him. HIS NOTION WAS,
    pulsation is strongest in infants, and that we increase in growth
    while it operates in its regular course; so it cannot well be the
    cause of destruction.’

This Barry became a Baronet--_Sir Edward Barry, Bart._ ‘He published,
in 1775, a curious work on the Wines of the Ancients.’

It should not be forgotten that when Dr. Johnson did drink, he drank
heavily. On April 7, 1778, he said he had drunk three bottles of port
at a time without being the worse for it. ‘University College has
witnessed this.’ He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.

Boswell’s own ideas upon drinking are worth recording:--

    I observed [says he of himself, April 12, 1776] that wine did
    some people harm, by inflaming, confusing, and irritating their
    minds; but that the experience of mankind had declared in favour of
    moderate drinking.

Sir Joshua Reynolds on the same occasion expressed similar ideas. He
argued that ‘a moderate glass enlivened the mind, by giving a proper
circulation to the blood.’

Probably Reynolds had studied the _Familiar Letters_ of the
Historiographer-Royal, Howell, who, as before noticed, thought that
‘good wine makes good blood.’

Johnson lived to see, as he believed, a change for the better, in the
direction of temperance.

    _Anno Domini 1773._--We talked of change of manners. Dr. Johnson
    observed that our drinking less than our ancestors was owing to
    the change from ale to wine. ‘I remember,’ said he, ‘when all the
    _decent_ people in Lichfield got drunk every night, and were not
    the worse thought of. Ale was cheap, so you pressed strongly.
    When a man must bring a bottle of wine, he is not in such haste.’
    [Johnson was sixty-four at the time.]

It seems strange that Johnson’s influence over his minion’s habits
was so slight. At any rate the following anecdote points to this

    Lord Eldon tells us, in his ‘Anecdote Book,’ that at an assize
    in Lancaster about the year 1782, Jemmy Boswell, the biographer
    of Dr. Johnson, was found dead drunk and stretched upon the
    pavement. His merry colleagues, of whom the sage Lord Eldon was
    one, subscribed among them a guinea at supper, which they sent next
    morning to Boswell, with instructions to move in Court for the
    writ of ‘Quare adhæsit pavimento.’ In vain did the perplexed and
    bibulous barrister apply to all the attorneys of his acquaintance
    for information as to the nature of the writ for which he was
    instructed to move, and great was the astonishment of the Judge
    when the application was made to him. At last one of the Bar,
    amidst the laughter of the Court, exclaimed, ‘My Lord, Mr. Boswell
    adhæsit pavimento last night. There was no moving him for some
    time. At length he was carried to bed, and has been dreaming of
    what happened to himself.’

It is unfortunate that Johnson should have been guilty of the _lapsus
linguæ_ for which Bacchanalians have often claimed him as their
hero, and by which careful historians have been misled. Mr. Mallet,
speaking of the Icelanders of the middle ages, tells that ‘after
they had finished eating their boiled horseflesh, they generally sat
swilling their ale out of capacious drinking-horns and listening to
the lay of a skald, or the tale of a Saga-man, until they were most
of them in that happy state of mind, when, according to Johnson,
man is alone capable of enjoying the passing moment of his fleeting
existence.’ He refers doubtless to a saying of the _savant_ recorded
by his biographer. Johnson being asked whether a man was not sometimes
happy in the moment that was present, answered, ‘Never but when he is
drunk.’ Most Johnsonians would readily admit that this was a _lapsus_,
a sally of the moment, not his deliberate judgment, such as is
obtainable from a set work like his incomparable _Rasselas_. There we
read:--‘Intemperance, though it may fire the spirits for an hour, will
make life short or miserable.’

Oliver Goldsmith, in _The Bee_, has some pungent observations upon

    Ale-houses are ever an occasion of debauchery and excess, and
    either in a religious or political light it would be our highest
    interest to have the greatest part of them suppressed. They should
    be put under laws of not continuing open beyond a certain hour,
    and harbouring only proper persons. These rules, it may be said,
    will diminish the necessary taxes; but this is false reasoning,
    since what was consumed in debauchery abroad would, if such a
    regulation took place, be more justly and perhaps more equitably
    for the workman’s family spent at home: and this, cheaper to them
    and without loss of time. On the other hand, our ale-houses, being
    ever open, interrupt business.

This same delightful author wrote that convivial satire entitled _The
Three Pigeons_, which he put into the mouth of Tony Lumpkin in _She
Stoops to Conquer_, of which the following is a part:--

    Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain
      With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
    Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
      Gives _genus_ a better discerning.

    When Methodist preachers come down,
      A-preaching that drinking is sinful,
    I’ll wager the rascals a crown,
      They always preach best with a skin-full.

    Then come, put the jorum about,
      And let us be merry and clever;
    Our hearts and our liquors are stout,
      Here’s the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever!

Shenstone, another contemporary poet, though he spent so large a
portion of his time in adorning The Leasowes, till he had made it a
kind of rural paradise, could also rave about the _freedom_ of an

    ‘Tis here with boundless power I reign,
      And every health which I begin
    Converts dull port to bright champagne;
      Such freedom crowns it at an inn.

    Whoe’er has travelled life’s dull round,
      Where’er his stages may have been,
    May sigh to think he still has found
      The warmest welcome at an inn.

And the same spirit breathes again in the _Deserted Village_ of
Goldsmith. The village ale-house is clearly included among the ‘simple
blessings of the lowly train.’ Yet there is nothing to condemn in the
sentiments there expressed, and we may echo the words of Sir Walter

    The wreath of Goldsmith is unsullied; he wrote to exalt virtue and
    expose vice; and he accomplished his task in a manner which raises
    him to the highest rank among British authors.

But we pass on to notice the man who did more than any one of his time
to expose vice, and in particular the vice of intemperance. And this
is not surprising when we consider the remarkable manner in which his
genius for painting discovered itself.

Going out one Sunday with some companions to Highgate, they went into
an inn, where they had not been long, before a quarrel arose between
some persons in the same room. One of the disputants struck the other
on the head with a quart pot, which cut him badly, and the blood ran
down his face freely. This, with the contortions of his countenance,
afforded a striking object to Hogarth, who drew out his pencil and
sketched the scene.

It will be sufficient for the present purpose to note the part which
drink plays in his _Marriage à la Mode_, the _Rake’s Progress_, and
in two miscellaneous Plates. In the first mentioned, Counsellor
Silvertongue begins his vile work of ensnaring the Viscountess by
offering her a glass of light wine at an interval between the dances.
Plate ii. represents the Viscount returning home the day after the
entertainment. His appearance denotes that he has been involved in some
drunken fray. Plate vi. depicts ‘sin when it is finished,’ the suicide
of the beguiled Viscountess by means of laudanum.

Plate iii. of the _Rake’s Progress_ illustrates the ‘orgie at the Rose
Tavern.’ Young Rakewell is lavishly expending his money in plying with
drink the caressing courtesans. He himself becomes intoxicated, and is
of course robbed of his watch and jewellery; one of the wretched women,
in a fit of rage, sets fire to a map of the world, swearing that she
will burn the entire globe and herself with it. The reflections of the
morrow can be easily imagined.

In _Gin Lane_, the artist portrays a loathsome neighbourhood, the
presiding genius of which is _gin_. To procure it no means are left
untried. Every article of domestic comfort, even to the meanest shred
of raiment, is carried to the pawnbroker for the wherewithal to
purchase gin. The influence of this fire-water is everywhere apparent;
in the ruined dwellings, in the sickly looks, in the emaciated frames,
trembling limbs, carious teeth, livid lips, and sunken eyes. The very
children in that region are habituated from the cradle to love gin.
The one house that thrives is that of the pawnbroker. The details are
agonising! a child ravenous, gnawing a bare bone, which a dog, equally
the victim of famine, is snatching from him. A woman is seen pouring
a dram down the throat of an infant. In a ruined house, the corpse of
a hanging suicide is displayed. A drunken object is drawn, in female
shape, whose legs have broken out in horrible ulcers, and who is taking
snuff, regardless of her child slipping from her arms into the low area
of the gin vault. Gin too has killed the female whom we see two men
placing in a shell by order of the beadle, while the orphan child is
being conveyed to the Union.

Well did the Reverend James Townley underwrite:--

    Gin, cursed fiend! with fury fraught,
      Makes human race a prey;
    It enters by a deadly draught
      And steals our life away.

    Virtue and Truth, driv’n to despair,
      Its rage compels to fly;
    But cherishes, with hellish care,
      Theft, Murder, Perjury.

    Damn’d cup! that on the vitals preys,
      That liquid fire contains,
    Which madness to the heart conveys,
      And rolls it through the veins.

The general design of the Plate _Beer Street_ is to expose the deadly
habit of gin-drinking, and to teach that if man must drink strong
liquors, beer is far the best to indulge in.

Edward Young, courtier, poet, rector, a general genius, satirised
tea and wine as abused by the women of his day. After bemoaning the
hecatomb sacrificed upon the altar of _tea_, he exclaims:--

    But this inhuman triumph shall decline,
    And thy revolting Naiads call for wine;
    Spirits no longer shall serve under thee,
    But reign in thy own cup, exploded Tea!
    Citronia’s nose declares thy ruin nigh;
    And who dares give Citronia’s nose the lie?
    The ladies long at men of drink exclaimed,
    And what impaired both health and virtue blamed.
    At length, to rescue man, the generous lass
    Stole from her consort the pernicious glass,
    As glorious as the British Queen renown’d
    Who suck’d the poison from her husband’s wound.

Another champion of temperance was John Armstrong, who wrote in 1744
_The Art of Preserving Health_. But he was no ascetic, for he writes:--

                      When you smooth
    The brows of care, indulge your festive vein
    In cups by well-informed experience found
    The least your bane, and only with your friends.

The effects of a surfeit of drink he has most ably drawn:--

      But most too passive, when the blood runs low,
    Too weakly indolent to strive with pain,
    And bravely by resisting conquer fate,
    Try Circe’s arts; and in the tempting bowl
    Of poisoned nectar sweet oblivion swill.
    Struck by the powerful charm, the gloom dissolves
    In empty air; Elysium opens round,
    A pleasing frenzy buoys the lightened soul,
    And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care;
    And what was difficult, and what was dire,
    Yields to your prowess and superior stars:
    The happiest you of all that e’er were mad,
    Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.
    But soon your heaven is gone: a heavier gloom
    Shuts o’er your head; and, as the thundering stream,
    Swollen o’er its banks with sudden mountain rain,
    Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook,
    So, when the frantic raptures in your breast
    Subside, you languish into mortal man;
    You sleep, and waking find yourself undone,
    For, prodigal of life, in one rash night
    You lavished more than might support three days.
    A heavy morning comes; your cares return
    With tenfold rage. An anxious stomach well
    May be endured; so may the throbbing head;
    But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
    Involves you; such a dastardly despair
    Unmans your soul, as maddening Pentheus felt,
    When, baited round Cithæron’s cruel sides,
    He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend.

How does this remind of the rich fool in the parable! The earlier lines
of irony seem almost taken in idea from some sentiments of Hafiz, the
favourite poet of the Persians.

    I am [says he] neither a judge nor a priest, nor a censor, nor a
    lawyer; why should I forbid the use of wine?

    Do not be vexed at the trifles of the world; drink, for it is folly
    for a wise man to be afflicted....

    The only friends who are free from care are a goblet of wine and a
    book of odes.

    Give me wine! wine that shall subdue the strongest: that I may for
    a time forget the cares and troubles of the world.

Armstrong joined in the general growl at the substitution of port for
the lighter French wine.

In describing a man’s sensations on awaking he says:--

    You curse the sluggish port, you curse the wretch,
    The felon, with unnatural mixture, first
    Who dared to violate the virgin wine.

Again, when speaking of wholesome wine, he praises:--

    The gay, serene, good-natured Burgundy,
    Or the fresh fragrant vintage of the Rhine.

Again, he describes Burgundy as the drink for gentlemen, and port as an

    The man to well-bred Burgundy brought up,
    Will start the smack of _Methuen_ in the cup.

What Armstrong said one hundred and thirty years ago I entreat my
medical brethren to believe now. I repeat it: if you want to prescribe
_spirits_, do so; if you want to give _wine_, give _pure_ wine. One
bottle of good Burgundy will give twice the flavour and half the spirit
that port does.[223]

In 1735 was published _A Friendly Admonition to the Drinkers of Brandy
and other Distilled Spirituous Liquors_. The author laments that man
has found means to extract from what God intended for his refreshment,
a most pernicious and intoxicating liquor. Singularly does this
anonymous writer anticipate the results of modern inquiries. He tells
us that distilled liquors _coagulate and thicken the blood, contract
and narrow the blood-vessels_, as has been proved by _experiments
purposely made_.

    Whence [says he] we may evidently see the reason why those liquors
    do so frequently cause _Obstructions_ and _Stoppages_ in the
    _Liver_; whence the _Jaundice_, _Dropsy_, and many other fatal
    Diseases: It is in like manner also that they destroy and burn up
    the _Lungs_ too: Hence also it is, that by frequently contracting
    and shrivelling, and then soon after relaxing, they weaken and wear
    out the Substance and Coats of the Stomach, on which they more
    immediately prey, every time they are drank: Hence, I say, it is,
    that these spirituous Liquors rarely fail to destroy the Appetite
    and Digestion of those who habituate themselves to them; for by
    drying up, and spoiling the Nerves, they make them insensible; they
    destroy also many of the very fine Blood-Vessels, especially where
    their Fibres are most tender, as in the Brain; whereby they spoil
    the Memory and intellectual Faculties: And by thus inflaming the
    Blood, and disordering the Blood Vessels and Nerves, they vitiate
    and deprave the _Natural Temper_.

    When first drank, they seem to comfort the Stomach, by contracting
    its too relaxed and flabby Fibres, and also to warm the Blood; but
    as the Warmth which they give, on mixing with the Blood, soon goes
    off, as it is in fact found to do, when we mix Brandy with Blood;
    so also the spirituous Part of the Brandy being soon dissolved,
    and soaking into the watery Humours of the Body, it can no longer
    contract and warm the Substance and Coats of the Stomach and other
    Parts; which therefore as soon relaxing, the unhappy persons are
    thereby in a little time reduced to a cold, languid, and dispirited
    state, which gives them so much uneasiness that they are impatient
    to get out of it by Supplies of the same deadly Liquor, which,
    instead of curing, daily increases their Disease more and more.

But the worst is not yet told.

    As when immediately put into the Veins of an Animal they cause
    sudden Death, so when drank in a large Quantity at once, they
    coagulate and thicken the Blood to such a degree _as to kill
    instantly_: And when they are not drank in such Quantities as to
    kill immediately, but are daily used, then, besides many other
    Diseases, they are apt to breed _Polypuses_, or fleshy Substances
    in the Heart, by thickening the Blood there; which _Polypuses_, as
    they grow larger and larger, do, by hindering and retarding the
    Motion of the Blood through the Heart, thereby farther contribute
    to the Faintness and Dispiritedness of those unhappy Persons, and
    at length, by totally stopping the Course of the Blood, do as
    effectually kill, as if a Dart had been struck thro’ the Liver.

And again, speaking of these same spirituous liquors, he adds:--

    Some may indeed be more palatable than others, _but they are all
    in a manner equally pernicious and dangerous, that are of an equal
    Strength; and those most destructive and deadly, which are the
    strongest, that is, which have most Spirit in them_. Which _Spirit_
    being of a very harsh, fiery, and acrimonious Nature, as it is
    found to seize on and harden raw Flesh put into it; so does it
    greatly injure the Stomach, Bowels, Liver, and all other Parts of
    human Bodies, especially the Nerves; which being the immediate and
    principal Instruments of Life and Action, hence it is, that it so
    remarkably enfeebles the habitual Drinkers of it; and also depraves
    the Memory, by hardening and spoiling the Substance of the Brain,
    which is the Seat of Life, and this is an Inconvenience which
    the great Drinkers of _Punch_ often find, as well as the _Dram_

Fifteen years later (1751) a Scotchman, James Burgh (cousin to the
historian Robertson), wrote _A warning to Dram-Drinkers_. Would that it
had been effectual!

At this time _cider_ seems to have risen to the dignity of civic
feasts. At a feast held Nov. 5th, 1737, at an inn, the following are
the charges:--

                                    _£_  _s._ _d._
    Ordinaries                       1   10    0
    Wine                             2    6    0
    Beer, _Cider_, Ale               0    8   10
    Candles and tobacco              0    3    6
    Beer, gunners and drummers       0    3    4
    For firing                       0    1    6
    Sugar, lemons, and glasses       0   14    0
    Wine after the bill delivered    0    6    0
    Beer firing, tobacco             0    1   10
                                     5   15    0

No bill for feast or treat at any place ... was found to have any
mention of cider as used at table, and charged for with beer and ale
before this one.[224]

In 1746 _A Bowl of Punch_ appears as a novelty in the bill of a
corporation dinner. When Coade was Mayor in 1737, sixteen bowls of
punch were drunk at a corporation banquet.

_Whitsun-ales_ were still in force. In the postscript of a letter from
a minister to his parishioners in the Deanery of Stow, Gloucestershire,
1736, the author writes:--

    What I have now been desiring you to consider as touching the evil
    and pernicious consequences of _Whitsun-ales_ among us, doth also
    obtain against Dovers Meeting ... and also against _Midsummer Ales_
    and _Mead-mowings_; and likewise against the ordinary violations of
    those festival seasons commonly called _Wakes_.

In the year 1735 occurred a scene which fairly gives colour to the
_Secret History of the Calves’ Head Club_. The following account is
given in the letters of L’Abbé Le Blanc:--

    Some young men of quality chose to abandon themselves to the
    debauchery of drinking healths on the 30th of January, a day
    appointed by the Church of England for a general fast, to expiate
    the murder of Charles I., whom they honour as a martyr. As soon
    as they were heated with wine, they began to sing. This gave great
    offence to the people, who stopped before the tavern, and gave them
    abusive language. One of these rash young men put his head out of
    the window and drank to the memory of the army which dethroned this
    king, and to the rebels which cut off his head upon a scaffold. The
    stones immediately flew from all parts, the furious populace broke
    the windows of the house, and would have set fire to it.

The Chapter Coffeehouse was opened at this time, famous for punch,
pamphlets, and newspapers. Buchan, of _Domestic Medicine_ fame, was an
_habitué_; so was Dr. Gower.

These eminent physicians sat and prescribed for the maladies of their
mates, _Chapter punch_; ‘If one won’t do, call for a second.’ But
clubs, whatever they may have been, are anything but unfavourable
to temperance _now_. The worst that can be honestly thought of them
is--that they _may_ minister to selfishness.

Thus are clubs an exception to the usual tendency of the moral law of
gravitation--downwards. What is there in common, save the name, between
the _Athenæum_ of to-day, and the _Roxburghe_ of the beginning of the

The entertainments of the latter have found their way into print under
the title ‘_Roxburghe Revels; or, An Account of the Annual Display_,
culinary and festivous, interspersed incidentally with matters of
Moment or Merryment.’[225]

George III. was an example of _moderation_. One of his biographers,
Edward Holt, observes:--

    Exercise, air, and little diet were the grand fundamentals in the
    King’s idea of health and sprightliness: his Majesty fed chiefly
    on vegetables and drank little wine. The Queen was what many
    private gentlewomen styled whimsically abstemious.

The story is told that at Worcester, the mayor, knowing that the King
never took drink before dinner, asked him if he would be pleased to
take a jelly, when the King replied: ‘I do not recollect drinking a
glass of wine before dinner in my life, yet upon this pleasing occasion
I will venture.’ A glass of rich old _Mountain_ was served, when his
Majesty immediately drank ‘Prosperity to the Corporation and Citizens
of Worcester.’ This occurred in the twenty-eighth year of the King’s
reign (1788). The rigid rule was still observed by his Majesty, as we
learn from an incident which occurred twelve years later. One morning,
when visiting as usual his stables, the King heard the following
conversation between the grooms: ‘I don’t care what you say, Robert,
but every one agrees that the man at the _Three Tuns_ makes the best
purl in Windsor.’ ‘Purl, purl!’ said the King, quickly. ‘Robert, what’s
purl?’ This was explained to be warm beer with a glass of gin, &c.
His Majesty listened attentively, and turning round, said: ‘I dare
say, very good drink, but too strong for the morning; never drink in a

In the description of the King’s visit to Whitbread’s brewery, we
learn incidentally the large scale on which even then the wholesale
trade was conducted--_e.g._ in the great store were three thousand and
seven barrels of beer. The stone cistern, into which he entered, held
four thousand barrels of beer. The royal party were offered some of
Whitbread’s _entire_.

The King drank and responded to _toasts_. Thus, at a dinner of _The
Knights_, we read that towards the end of the first course, a large
gilt cup was brought to the Sovereign by the cupbearer. The King drank
to the knights, who, being at his Majesty’s command, informed of the
same by Garter, stood up uncovered, pledged the King, and then sat down.

At the jubilee, the commemoration of the fiftieth year of the King’s
reign, the mayor at the banquet gave ‘The King, God bless him, and long
may he reign over a free and united people,’ which was drunk with three
times three.

The general habits of the time formed a striking contrast to the
personal example of the King. In the recently issued elaborate _Life
of George IV._, by Percy Fitzgerald, we get a picture into the social
manners and customs prevailing about 1787:--

    ‘How the men of business and the great orators of the House of
    Commons contrive to reconcile it with their exertions I cannot
    conceive,’ writes that most charming of public men, Sir Gilbert
    Elliot, to his wife. ‘Men of all ages drink abominably. Fox (a
    Prime Minister) drinks what I should call a great deal, though he
    is not reckoned to do so by his companions; Sheridan (M.P. and
    dramatist, and withal the bosom friend of the Prince of Wales,
    afterwards George IV.) excessively; and Grey (Viscount Howick) more
    than any of them. But it is in a much more gentlemanly way than
    our Scotch drunkards, and is always accompanied with lively clever
    conversation on subjects of importance. Pitt (a Prime Minister), I
    am told, drinks as much as anybody.’

    The same observer, Sir Gilbert Elliot (1787), describes a scene at
    W. Crewe’s, where three young men of fashion, Mr. Orlando Bridgman,
    Mr. Charles Greville, of the Picnic Club, and Mr. Gifford were so
    drunk, ‘as to puzzle the whole assembly.’ The last was a young
    gentleman lately come out, of a good estate of about five thousand
    pounds a year, the whole of which he is in the act of spending in
    one or two years at least (125,000_l._), and this without a grain
    of sense, without any fun to himself or entertainment to others.
    He never uttered a word, though as drunk as the other two, who
    were both riotous, and began at last to talk so plain, that Lady
    Francis and Lady Valentine fled from the side table to ours, and
    Mrs. Sheridan would have followed them, but did not escape till her
    arms were black and blue, and her apron torn off.

    Pitt, the model young minister, broke down in the house in the
    following year, owing to a debauch the night before at Lord
    Buckingham’s, when, in company with Dundas and the Duke of Gordon,
    he took too much wine.

    Indeed, the manners and customs of the times (1780-1830) might be
    called a ‘precious school’ for the young princes (Prince of Wales,
    Dukes of York, Cumberland, and Kent), and there was no public
    opinion to check these vices.

    The lawlessness that was abroad reached even to the young, who
    disdained the control of their parents.

To the same effect writes Dr. Doran:--

    Any one who will take the trouble to go carefully through the
    columns of the ill-printed newspapers of the last century,
    will find that drunkenness, dissoluteness, and the sword
    hanging on every fool’s thigh ready to do his bidding, were the
    characteristics of the period. People got drunk at dinners, and
    then slew one another, or in some other way broke the law.

The _taverns_ were crowded with morning drinkers. On the site occupied
by the Bank of England, four inns used to stand; one of them was called
_The Crown_. Sir John Hawkins, in his _History of Musick_, mentions
that it was not unusual to draw a butt (120 gallons) in half-pints in
the course of a single morning.

The drinking at the _Universities_ was terrible.

Henry Gunning, M.A., Christ’s College, Cambridge (a descendant of the
Bishop of Ely, who wrote the prayer for the Church Militant), had great
opportunities of judging of the Cambridge of his day, for he was born
1768 in a Cambridgeshire vicarage, went up to Cambridge at an early
age, was made Esquire Bedell 1789, and continued in that capacity
till his death early in 1854. In his charming _Reminiscences of the
University, Town, and County of Cambridge, from the year 1780_, he

    Drunkenness was the besetting sin of the period when I came to
    college. I need scarcely add that many other vices followed in its

Again, speaking of a college friend:--

    I do not remember ever to have seen him guilty of drunkenness, _at
    that time almost universal_.

Again (pp. 147-148):--

    For many years during Rev. Charles Simeon’s ministry (I speak
    from my own personal knowledge) Trinity Church and the streets
    leading to it were the scenes of the most disgraceful tumults.
    On one occasion an undergraduate, who had been apprehended by
    Simeon, was compelled to read a public apology in the church.
    Mr. Simeon made a prefatory address: ‘We have long borne during
    public worship with the most indecent conduct from those whose
    situation in life should have made them sensible of the heinousness
    of such offences; we have seen persons coming into this place
    in a state of intoxication; we have seen them walking about the
    aisles, notwithstanding there are persons appointed to show them
    into seats; we have seen them coming in and going out without the
    slightest reverence or decorum; we have seen them insulting modest
    persons, both in and after divine service; in short, the devotions
    of the congregation have been disturbed by almost every species of
    ill conduct.’

About 1788, Gunning was for some time a tutor in Herefordshire; there
he observed that immense quantities of cider were drunk:--

    In years when apples were abundant, the labourers in husbandry
    were allowed to drink as much cider as they thought proper. It
    was no unusual thing for a man to put his lips to a wooden bottle
    containing four quarts, and not remove them until he had emptied
    it. I have myself witnessed this exploit; but I never ventured
    to mention a circumstance apparently so incredible, until I read
    Marshall’s _History of Herefordshire_, in which he relates the same

George Pryme (_b._ 1781, _obiit_ 1868) in his _Autobiographic
Recollections_, 1870, fully confirms Gunning’s picture of Cambridge:--

    When I first went to Cambridge [in 1799] the habit of hard drinking
    was almost as prevalent there as it was in country society....

    ‘Buzzing,’ unknown in the present day, was then universal. When the
    decanter came round to any one, if it was nearly emptied, the next
    in succession could require him to finish it; but if the quantity
    left exceeded the bumper, the challenger was obliged to drink the
    remainder and also a bumper out of the next fresh bottle. There was
    throughout these parties an endeavour to make each other drunk, and
    a pride in being able to resist the effects of the wine.

This Pryme was a person of distinction; sometime Fellow of Trinity,
first Professor of Political Economy in Cambridge University, and
thrice M.P. for the Borough. Moreover he was no teetotaller; though a
moderate man, he had full belief in the _medicinal_ virtue of brandy.
And he had reason; for he says:--

    In the winter of 1788-9 I was attacked by a severe fever, and was
    attended by Dr. Storer of Nottingham, the most eminent physician
    in that part of the country. After prescribing every medicine that
    he could think of as suitable to the case, he called one evening
    on my mother but declined seeing me, as he said everything had
    been tried, and that giving more medicine was only harassing me in
    vain. He however asked a few questions about me, and was told that
    I had repeatedly begged for brandy. He mixed some in a wine-glass
    with water, which I eagerly drank and asked for more; he then mixed
    a second glass. The next forenoon he called to inquire if I was
    still alive, and was told that I had had a good night and was much
    better. He saw me, and from that time I steadily recovered.

The habits of a University are very fair tests of the habits of the
more affluent, and upper middle classes of the nation. Outside this
for the most part is the great class generally known as _tradesmen_.
Probably nothing has contributed so much to the deterioration of this
class, as the almost invariable habit of spending the evening in some
hotel or tavern. It is still common in Germany. It is much to be hoped
that it is dying out in England. Charles Knight, in his _Passages of a
Working Life_, seems to speak of it as universally the case early in
the present century. He speaks of the tradesmen as habitually

    Sallying forth to spend their long evenings in their accustomed
    chairs at the ale-house, which had become their second home. Some
    had a notion that they secured custom to the shop by a constant
    round among the numerous hostelries. I knew a most worthy man,
    occupying a large house which his forefathers had occupied from
    the time of Queen Anne, who, when he gave up the business to his
    son, who, recently married, preferred his own fireside, told the
    innovator that he would infallibly be ruined if he did not go out
    to make friends over his evening glass.

But does not every grade in society sensibly or insensibly take its cue
from that _immediately_ above it? And what were those who should have
set a virtuous example doing? How much have such men to answer for, as
Byron, Porson, Pitt, Fox, Sheridan, Smart, Lamb, and Churchill!

Of the first named, it has been observed that when he was not impairing
a naturally delicate constitution with drastic medicines and protracted
fasts, he would sometimes eat and drink excessively. And this was
especially the case in fits of mortification. Everyone will remember
the circumstance of the _Edinburgh Review_ proscribing Byron’s early
production, _Hours of Idleness_. Though he affected indifference, and
spoke of the critique as a paper bullet of the brain, yet he afterwards
acknowledged that he tried to drown his irritation on the day he
read it with three bottles of claret after dinner. His excesses of
all kinds, in his continental life, are matters of history. They are
usually considered to have contributed to terminate his fever fatally.
This recalls his clever lines:--

_On a Carrier who died of Drunkenness._

    John Adams lies here, of the parish of Southwell:
    A _carrier_ who _carried_ his can to his mouth well;
    He _carried_ so much, and he _carried_ so fast,
    He could _carry_ no more, so was _carried_ at last;
    For the liquor he drank being too much for one,
    He could not _carry_ off, so he’s now _carrion_.

Charles Churchill, the author of the _Rosciad_, was a sad drunkard.
The caricature drawn of him by Hogarth will be remembered. A number
of them had met as usual at their whist club in the _Bedford Arms_
parlour. There it was that Churchill insulted Hogarth, called him a
‘very shallow fellow,’ and afterwards in writing derided the man,
his productions, and his belongings. Hogarth revenged the sneer. He
converted an old copper-plate into a palimpsest, on which he drew a
caricature of Churchill as a growling bear with the ragged canonicals
of a parson (for such the poet had been), a pot of porter by his side,
and a ragged staff in his paw, each knot inscribed ‘lye.’

Theodore Hook was a highly convivial man. In a memoir of this once
popular man, it is stated that the disorder under which he long
laboured arose from a diseased state of the liver and stomach, brought
on partly by anxiety, but chiefly, it is to be feared, by that habit of
over indulgence at table, the curse of colonial life. (At the instance
of the Prince Regent he had obtained a Government appointment in the

A stanza of his own composition reveals in brief the man:--

    Then now I’m resolved at all sorrows to blink--
    Since winking’s the tippy I’ll tip ‘em the wink,
    I’ll never get drunk when I cannot get drink,
      Nor ever let misery bore me.
    I sneer at the Fates, and I laugh at their spite,
    I sit down contented to sit up all night,
    And when my time comes, from the world take my flight,
      For--my father did so before me.[226]

The name of Charles Lamb will naturally suggest itself. Of him one
would fain observe silence in this connection. He must at any rate
speak for himself: ‘A small eater but not drinker.’ He acknowledges
a partiality for the production of the juniper. This would probably
prepossess Hazlitt, who observes in his _Thoughts and Maxims_: ‘We
like a convivial character better than an abstemious one, because the
idea of conviviality in the first instance is pleasanter than that of
sobriety.’ Lamb considered it a great qualification in his father that
he made punch better than any man of his degree in England. C. Lamb was
a schoolfellow of S. T. Coleridge, and something more--a friend, not
of a day, but of a life. Severed during the University career of the
Lake poet, the friendship was maintained by occasional visits of the
latter to town, where at the _Salutation and Cat_, they supped, heard
the midnight chimes, and possibly heard the clock strike one several
times, in the little smoky room now historical. More than twenty years
passed, and Lamb is found dedicating his works, then first collected,
to the same old friend. Meantime, countless letters pass between them;
on Lamb’s part the lower side of the convivial blending too freely with
the literary. Does he anticipate a visit to his friend? The joy is
infinitely heightened by the prospect of the tavern and the ‘egg-hot.’
Nor does he blush to confess ‘I am writing at random, and half tipsy.’

In his _The Old Familiar Faces_, he writes:--

    I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
    Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom-cronies,
    All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

Reference need not be made to that terribly tragical dissertation in
his incomparable _Essays of Elia_, entitled _The Confessions of a
Drunkard_. The passage which begins: ‘The waters have gone over me,
but out of the dark depths could I be heard, I would cry out to all
those who have set foot on that perilous flood,’ is familiar to most
lovers of literature. But whether the dismal language is the mirror of
his own experience, may remain a moot point. However, facts contradict
the assertion of Barry Cornwall, that ‘much injustice has been done to
Lamb, by accusing him of excess in drinking,’ and Hazlitt was perfectly
justified in unequivocally stating what he had taken scrupulous pains
to verify. Thus much admitted, we may endorse the sentiment expressed
so feelingly:--

    We admire his genius; we love the kind nature which appears in all
    his writings; and we cherish his memory as much as if we had known
    him personally.[227]

From the social man of letters, we turn to one who moved in a far wider
circle; who, in Byron’s opinion, wrote the best comedy, the best opera,
the best farce, the best address, and delivered the very best oration
ever conceived or heard in this country--Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
He, like Lamb, can be judged out of his own mouth. It was he who with
piquant humour declared that he could drink with advantage any _given_
quantity of wine. Wine, says his biographer, Tom Moore, was one of his
favourite helps to inspiration: ‘If the thought (he would say) is slow
to come, a glass of good wine encourages it, and when it _does_ come, a
glass of good wine rewards it.’ To the same effect, Leigh Hunt remarks:
‘His table songs are always admirable. When he was drinking wine he
was thoroughly in earnest.’ Lady Holland, at whose house Sheridan was
a constant guest, told Moore that he used to take a bottle of wine and
a book up to bed with him always; the _former_ alone intended for use.
He took spirits with his morning tea or coffee, and on his way from
Holland House to town, invariably stopped at the old roadside inn, the
_Adam and Eve_, where he ran up a long bill which Lord Holland was left
the privilege of paying.

In the very amusing and instructive _Reminiscences of Captain Gronow_,
speaking of Sheridan’s prosperity, the author urges:--

    Many of the follies and extravagances that marked the life of this
    gifted but reckless personage must be attributed to the times in
    which he existed. Drinking was the fashion of the day. The Prince
    [Regent], Mr. Pitt, Dundas, the Lord Chancellor Eldon, and many
    others who gave the tone to society, would, if they now appeared
    at an evening party, ‘as was their custom of an afternoon,’ be
    pronounced fit for nothing but bed. A three-bottle man was not an
    unusual guest at a fashionable table; and the night was invariably
    spent in drinking bad port wine to an enormous extent.

The same writer observes:--

    Drinking and play were more universally indulged in then [about
    1814] than at the present time, and many men still living must
    remember the couple of bottles of port at least which accompanied
    his dinner in those days.... The dinner-party, commencing at seven
    or eight, frequently did not break up before one in the morning.
    There were then four and even five-bottle men; and the only thing
    that saved them was drinking very slowly, and out of very small
    glasses. The learned head of the law, Lord Eldon, and his brother
    Lord Stowell, used to say that they had drunk more bad port than
    any two men in England; indeed, the former was rather apt to be
    overtaken, and to speak occasionally somewhat thicker than natural
    after long and heavy potations. The late Lords Panmure, Dufferin,
    and Blayney, wonderful to relate, were six-bottle men at this time;
    and I really think that if the good society of 1815 could appear
    before their more moderate descendants, in the state they were
    generally reduced to after dinner, the moderns would pronounce
    their ancestors fit for nothing but bed.

Sheridan’s success in life, as well as his attachment to party, was
mainly owing to his connection with one of whom we shall next speak,
viz. Charles James Fox. A few months after his first appointment to
office, Walpole went to the House to hear the young orator, and he
tells us--

    Fox’s abilities are amazing at so very early a period, especially
    under the circumstances of such a dissolute life. He was just
    arrived from Newmarket, had sat up drinking all night, and had not
    been in bed.

More than once is he said to have taken his place in the House of
Commons in a state of absolute intoxication.

Mr. George Otto Trevelyan, M.P., gives in his _Early History of
Charles James Fox_ a very bad picture of the drinking habits of great
men in England at that period.

    These were the days when the Duke of Grafton, the Premier, lived
    openly with Miss Nancy Parsons. _Rigby_, the Paymaster of the
    Forces, had only one merit, that he drank fair. He used brandy as
    the rest of the world used small beer. _Lord Weymouth_, grandson of
    Lord Cartaret, had more than his grandfather’s capacity for liquor,
    and a fair portion of his abilities. He constantly boozed till
    daylight, even when a Secretary of State. His occasional speeches
    were extolled by his admirers as preternaturally sagacious, and
    his severest critics admitted them to be pithy. Walpole made the
    following smart hit at him: ‘If I paid nobody, and went drunk to
    bed every morning at six, I might expect to be called out of bed
    by two in the afternoon to save the nation, and govern the House
    of Lords by two or three sentences as profound and short as the
    proverbs of Solomon.’ ‘They tell me, Sir John,’ said George the
    Third to one of his favourites, ‘that you love a glass of wine.’
    ‘Those who have so informed your Majesty,’ was the reply, ‘have
    done me great injustice; they should have said a bottle.’ ‘Two
    of the friends of Philip Francis, without any sense of having
    performed an exceptional feat, finished between them a gallon and
    a half of Champagne and Burgundy, a debauch which in this unheroic
    age it almost makes one ill to read of.’

The sobriety of Pitt has been the subject of much debate. Mr.
Jeaffreson has well said that free livers delight to attribute their
own failings to great people who are free from them. Till Lord Stanhope
relieved Pitt’s fame of groundless aspersions of intemperance, it
suffered from drunken epigrams, and the idle tales of pot-loving
detractors. Of the former, the following is a specimen:--

    On folly every fool his talent tries;
    It needs some toil to imitate the wise;
    Though few like Fox can speak--like Pitt can think,
    Yet all like Fox can game--like Pitt can drink.

Perhaps no form of detraction is so insidious as caricature, and Pitt
was its sport. The pencil of Gillray was busy in 1788 with a caricature
entitled, _Market Day--Every Man has His Price_. The Ministerial
supporters are represented as horned cattle exposed for sale. The scene
is laid in Smithfield. At the window of a public-house adjoining appear
Pitt and Dundas, a jovial pair drinking and smoking.

Again, when the dearth of 1795 was just beginning, a print by the same
Gillray represents a convivial scene at Pitt’s country house. It is
entitled, ‘_God save the King! in a bumper; or, an Evening Scene three
times a Week at Wimbleton_.’ Pitt is trying to fill his glass from the
wrong end of the bottle, while his companion, grasping pipe and bumper,
ejaculates the words, ‘Billy, my boy--all my joy!’

Still there is an element of truth underlying both epigram and
burlesque; but, having admitted this, we may assert that his wont
formed a contrast to the wild habits of many of his contemporaries,
and that with justice he was favourably compared by the Court with the
irregularities of Fox and his associates.

Professor Richard Porson was at one time a prominent figure in the
_Cider Cellars_ in Covent Garden. It was his nightly haunt. It was
there that one of his companions is said to have shouted in his
presence, ‘Dick can beat us all; he can drink all night and spout
all day.’ This sounds bad, but it must be remembered that Porson had
struggled long on the then miserable pittance attached to the Greek
Professorship at Cambridge, 40_l._ a year, and had suddenly obtained
the post of head librarian of the London Institution, with a salary
increased five-fold. He thus had facilities for indulgence, and with
them, possibly for a time, the appetite. An _habitual_ drunkard he
was not. Like Johnson, he could practise abstinence more easily than
temperance. He lived in days when the leading statesmen and politicians
were not ashamed of being seen under the influence of wine, and
though Porson has been vilified for his occasional intemperance, it
may, without much hesitation, be affirmed that it was his reforming
principles in Church and State that brought much of the obloquy upon

Thomson, the author of the _Seasons_, was a convivial man.

    Mrs. Hobart, Thomson’s housekeeper, often wished Quin dead, he made
    her master drink so. He and Quin used to come sometimes from the
    Castle together at four o’clock in a morning, and not over sober
    you may be sure. When he was writing in his own house he frequently
    sat with a bowl of punch before him, and that a good large one too.

The following anecdote is told of him:--

    Mr. H. of Bangor said he was once asked to dinner by Thomson, but
    could not attend. One of his friends who was there told him that
    there was a general stipulation agreed on by the whole company,
    that there should be no hard drinking. Thomson acquiesced, only
    requiring that each man should drink his bottle. The terms were
    accepted unconditionally, and when the cloth was removed a
    three-quart bottle was set before each of his guests. Thomson had
    much of this kind of agreeable humour.

His _Autumn_ came out in 1730, in which occur the lines:--

    But first the fuel’d chimney blazes wide;
    The tankards foam; and the strong table groans
    Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretch’d immense
    From side to side; in which with desperate knife
    The deep incision make, and talk the while
    Of England’s glory, ne’er to be defaced
    While hence they borrow vigour; or amain
    Into the pasty plunged at intervals,
    If stomach keen can intervals allow,
    Relating all the glories of the chace.
    Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst
    Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl,
    Swell’d high with fiery juice, steams liberal round
    A potent gale, delicious as the breath
    Of Mäia to the love-sick shepherdess
    On violets diffus’d, while soft she hears
    Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms.
    Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn
    Mature and perfect from his dark retreat
    Of thirty years; and now his honest front
    Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid
    Even with the vineyard’s best produce to vie.
           *       *       *       *       *
    At last these puling idlenesses laid
    Aside, frequent and full the dry divan
    Close in firm circle; and set ardent in
    For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly,
    Nor sober shift, is to the puking wretch
    Indulg’d apart; but earnest brimming bowls
    Lave every soul, the table floating round,
    And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot.
           *       *       *       *       *
                    Before their maudlin eyes
    Seen dim and blue the double tapers dance,
    Like the sun wading through the misty sky.
    Then sliding soft, they drop. Confus’d above
    Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazeteers,
    As if the table even itself was drunk,
    Lie a wet broken scene; and wide below
    Is heap’d the social slaughter: where astride
    The lubber Power in filthy triumph sits
    Slumbrous, inclining still from side to side,
    And steeps them drench’d in potent sleep till morn.
    Perhaps some doctor, of tremendous paunch
    Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink,
    Outlives them all; and from his buried flock
    Retiring, full of rumination sad,
    Laments the weakness of these latter times.

In _Autumn_, somewhat later, he sings the praises of _cider_:--

    The piercing cider for the thirsty tongue;
    Thy native theme and boon inspirer too,
    Phillips, Pomona’s bard, the second thou
    Who nobly durst in rhyme-unfetter’d verse
    With British freedom sing the British song;
    How from Silurian vats high-sparkling wines
    Foam in transparent floods; some strong to cheer
    The wintry revels of the labouring hind;
    And tasteful some to cool the summer hours.

Again, we read a few lines later of the autumnal vintage:--

    Round the raised nations pours the cup of joy:
    The claret smooth, red as the lip we press
    In sparkling fancy while we drain the bowl;
    The mellow-tasted Burgundy; and quick
    As is the wit it gives the gay champagne.

Wordsworth says of the _Seasons_:--‘Much of it is written from
himself.’ Probably this is true.

In 1798 was published a collection of the dramatic works of John
O’Keefe. In the following lines from his _Poor Soldier_ occurs a phrase
which has become household:--

    Dear Tom, this brown jug that now foams with mild ale,
    From which I now drink to sweet Nan of the Vale,
    Was once Toby Filpot’s, a thirsty old soul
    As e’er _cracked a bottle_ or fathomed a bowl.

The allusion is simply to drunken frolics, during which glass
was broken. Mr. Oldbuck says in the _Antiquary_:--‘We never were
glass-breakers in this house.’

In 1805 Robert Bloomfield published his rural poem, the _Farmer’s
Boy_. It is a very humorous and suggestive account of the manners
of clod-hopping England as engaged about the Harvest-home supper
in Suffolk and Norfolk, here entitled the _Horkey_. This has been
already discussed. Suffice it to add that Bloomfield’s charming little
provincial ballad, entitled, _The Horkey_, has been recently published
by Macmillan, and is abundantly illustrated.

But of all the marvellous issues from the press at the beginning
of the present century, nothing could be more monstrous than the
publication of a work entitled ‘_Ebrietatis Encomium; or, the Praise
of Drunkenness_, wherein is authentically and most evidently proved
the Necessity of Frequently Getting Drunk; and the Practise is most
ancient, primitive, and Catholick.’

The author, not unnaturally, thinks that some apology is needed in his
preface. He declares that he did not undertake the work on account of
any zeal he had for wine, but only to divert himself(!), and not to
lose a great many curious remarks he had made upon this most Catholic

Verily, ‘_nulli vitio unquam defuit advocatus_.’ He seems to have
hunted up _bon-mots_, or rather _mal-mots_ from every toping author
that was to hand, _e.g._ he cites Seneca (_De Tranquillitate_):--‘As
drunkenness causes some distempers, so it is a sovereign remedy for our
sorrows.’ Propertius--‘Alas! so then wine lives longer than man, let
us then sit down and drink bumpers; life and wine are the same thing.’
Horace--‘That nectar which the blessed vines produce, the height of all
our joy and wishes here.’ La Motte:--

    A l’envi laissons nous saisir,
    Aux transports d’une douce ivresse:
    Qu’importe si c’est un plaisir,
    Que ce soit folie ou sagesse.

These are specimens of the sources from which the author, ‘Boniface
Oinophilus’ drew.[228]

But we travel to far other soil.

The poet Cowper [_b._ 1781, _d._ 1800], the intellectual ancestor of
Wordsworth, has several pictures of his times in his writings.

With a lofty and noble morality does he describe the truly gay:--

    Whom call we gay? That honour has been long
    The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
    The innocent are gay--the lark is gay,
    That dries his feathers saturate with dew
    Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
    Of dayspring overshoot his humble nest.
    The peasant too, a witness of his song,
    Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
    But save me from the gaiety of those
    Whose headaches nail them to a noon-day bed;
    And save me too from theirs whose haggard eyes
    Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
    For property stripp’d off by cruel chance;
    From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
    The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.
                                _The Task_, Book I., ‘The Sofa.’

Noble lines these, breathing much of the spirit of Horace’s noble

    Non possidentem multa vocaveris
    Recte beatum. Rectius occupat
      Nomen beati qui deorum
        Muneribus sapienter uti,
    Calletque duram pauperiem pati,
    Pejusque leto flagitium timet.
      Non ille pro caris amicis,
        Non patriâ timidus perire.

There was not perhaps much need for our poet to dread the gout:--

    Oh may I live exempted (while I live
    Guiltless of pamper’d appetite obscene),
    From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe
    Of libertine Excess!
                                _The Task_, Book I., ‘The Sofa.’

Certainly not if the following picture was his usual evening

    Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
    Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
    And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
    Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
    That cheer but not inebriate wait on each,
    So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
                     _The Task_, Book IV., ‘The Winter Evening.’

Commenting upon the usual misquotation of this passage, which
provincial newspapers make a point of rendering:--‘The cup that cheers’
&c., Cuthbert Bede adds:--

    The poet of ‘The Task’ spoke of ‘cups;’ and, it is very evident,
    from the graphic description of the accompanying urn, that those
    cups were intended to hold a certain beverage that had been
    introduced into England about 130 years before ‘The Task’ was
    written, and which, by those who could afford to purchase it
    at the high price then demanded for it, was known as ‘Tea.’ It
    might be urged, with more ingenuity than plausibility, that, as
    Cowper does not mention the contents of the cups, they, together
    with the hot water in the loud-hissing urn, might have been used
    for some of those compounds, familiarly known as ‘Cups.’ Thus,
    there were ‘cups’ of spiced wine, Claret, Burgundy, Gilliflower
    sack, Hydromel (which was recommended by Lord Holles to those
    who abjured wine, and was composed of honey, spring-water, and
    ginger), Cider, and many kinds of ale and Beer-cups, distinguished
    by such extraordinary names as Humpty-dumpty, Clamber-clown, Old
    Pharaoh, Hugmatee, Stitchback, Cock-ale, Three-threads, Mum, and
    Knock-me-down, which last name is particularly suggestive of the
    probable result of the toper’s indulgence in a brew of hot ale-cup,
    in which gin was a leading ingredient.

    It is very evident that it could only be a person who was very
    hard-up for an argument, who could think of framing such an
    accusation against the abstemious and gentle William Cowper, and
    who could interpret his ‘cups’ in any other sense than as cups for
    tea. In fact, the whole passage presents to us a tea-table scene;
    and, as we read it, we can see the comfortable parlour at Olney,
    the curtains closely drawn--in that respect very sensibly differing

        ‘The half-uncurtain’d window,’

    mentioned in the winter-evening’s scene, in Campbell’s ‘Pleasures
    of Hope’--with the bubbling urn, containing, possibly, the tea
    already made, or else ready to contribute its boiling stream to the

But this sort of evening was not the usual evening in England in 1785.
Much more frequently was the evening spent in what our poet himself
calls ‘the quenchless thirst of ruinous ebriety,’ and describes in the
following lines (_Task_, lib. iv.):--

    Pass where we may, through city or through town,
    Village or hamlet of this merry land,
    Though lean and beggar’d, every twentieth pace
    Conducts the unguarded nose to such a whiff
    Of stale debauch, forth issuing from the styes
    That Law has licensed, as makes Temperance reel.
    There sit, involved and lost in curling clouds
    Of Indian fume, and guzzling deep, the boor,
    The lackey, and the groom: the craftsman there
    Takes a Lethean leave of all his toil;
    Smith, cobbler, joiner, he that plies the shears,
    And he that kneads the dough; all aloud alike,
    All learned, and all drunk! the fiddle screams
    Plaintive and piteous, as it wept and wail’d
    Its wasted tones and harmony unheard.
           *       *       *       *       *
                        ‘Tis here they learn
    The road that leads from competence and peace
    To indigence and rapine; till at last
    Society, grown weary of the load,
    Shakes her encumber’d lap, and casts them out.
    But censure profits little: vain the attempt
    To advertise in verse a public pest
    That, like the filth with which the peasant feeds
    His hungry acres, stinks and is of use.
    The excise is fatten’d with the rich result
    Of all this riot: and ten thousand casks
    For ever dribbling out their base contents,
    Touch’d by the Midas finger of the State,
    Bleed gold for ministers to sport away.
    Drink and be mad then; ‘tis your country bids!
    Gloriously drunk obey the important call!
    Her cause demands the assistance of your throats
    Ye all can swallow, and she asks no more.

Towards the end of the progress of error is the sage advice:--

    With caution taste the sweet Circæan cup;
    He that sips often at last drinks it up.
    Habits are soon assumed, but when we strive
    To strip them off ‘tis being flayed alive.
    Call’d to the temple of impure delight
    He that abstains, and he alone, does right.

Finally, an admirable moral is contained in the lines:--

    Pleasure admitted in undue degree
    Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.
    ‘Tis not alone the grape’s enticing juice
    Unnerves the moral powers, and mars their use;
    Ambition, avarice, and the lust of fame,
    And woman, lovely woman, does the same.

Wordsworth was a most abstemious man. He and his wife drank water, and
ate the simplest fare. When Scott stayed with him at Rydal Mount, he
had to hie him to the nearest public-house not unfrequently.

Myers has observed, in his monograph on the poet in _English Men of

    The poet of the _Waggoner_--who, himself an habitual water-drinker,
    has so glowingly described the glorification which the prospect of
    nature receives in a half-intoxicated brain--may justly claim that
    he can enter into all genuine pleasures, even of an order which he
    declines for himself. With anything that is false or artificial
    he cannot sympathise, nor with such faults as baseness, cruelty,
    rancour, which seem contrary to human nature itself; but in dealing
    with faults of mere _weakness_ he is far less strait-laced than
    many less virtuous men.

    His comment on Burns’ _Tam o’ Shanter_ will perhaps surprise some
    readers who are accustomed to think of him only in his didactic

                                             _Wordsworth’s Criticism._

    ... Who, but some impenetrable dunce or narrow-minded puritan in
    works of art, ever read without delight the picture which Burns
    has drawn of the convivial exaltation of the rustic adventurer Tam
    o’ Shanter? The poet fears not to tell the reader in the outset
    that his hero was a desperate and sottish drunkard, whose excesses
    were as frequent as his opportunities. This reprobate sits down
    to his cups while the storm is roaring, and heaven and earth
    are in confusion; the night is driven on by song and tumultuous
    noise, laughter and jest thicken as the beverage improves upon the
    palate--conjugal fidelity archly bends to the service of general
    benevolence--selfishness is not absent, but wearing the mask of
    social cordiality; and while these various elements of humanity are
    blended into one proud and happy composition of elated spirits, the
    anger of the tempest without doors only heightens and sets off the
    enjoyment within. I pity him who cannot perceive that in all this,
    though there was no moral purpose, there is a moral effect.

        ‘Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
        O’er a’ the _ills_ of life victorious.’

    What a lesson do these words convey of charitable indulgence for
    the vicious habits of the principal actor in the scene, and of
    those who resemble him! Men who to the rigidly virtuous are objects
    almost of loathing, and whom therefore they cannot serve! The
    poet, penetrating the unsightly and disgusting surfaces of things,
    has unveiled with exquisite skill the finer ties of imagination and
    feeling that often bind these beings to practices productive of
    so much unhappiness to themselves, and to those whom it is their
    duty to cherish; and, as far as he puts the reader into possession
    of this intelligent sympathy, he qualifies him for exercising a
    salutary influence over the minds of those who are thus deplorably

The poet Southey’s opinion of the ale-house, _versus_ the home, is as
true of our own times as his own:--

    For the labouring man the ale-house is too often a place of
    unmingled evil; where, while he is single, he squanders the money
    which ought to be laid up as a provision for marriage or old age;
    and where, if he frequent it after he is married, he commits the
    far heavier sin of spending, for his own selfish gratification, the
    earnings upon which the woman and children whom he has rendered
    dependent upon him have the strongest of all claims.

Of the drink itself he writes:--

    But Thalaba took not the draught,
    For right he knew the Prophet had forbidden
    That beverage, the mother of sins;
    Nor did the urgent guests
    Proffer the second time the liquid fire,
    For in the youth’s strong eye they saw
    No movable resolve.

William Playfair, the famous political economist, wrote in 1805 his
_Enquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful
and Wealthy Nations_. He has some striking remarks upon the bearing of
_revenue_ upon the drink traffic:--

    When a nation becomes the slave of its revenue, and sacrifices
    everything to that object, _abuses that favour revenue are
    difficult to reform_; but surely it would be well to take some
    mode to prevent the _facility with which people get drunk_,
    and the temptation that is laid to do so. The immense number
    of public-houses, and the way in which they give credit, are
    undoubtedly, in part, causes of this evil. _It would be easy to
    lessen the number_, without hurting liberty, and it would be no
    injustice if publicans were prevented from legal recovery for
    beer or spirits consumed in their houses, in the same manner that
    payment cannot be enforced of any person under twenty-one years of
    age, unless for necessaries. There could be no hardship in this,
    and it would produce a great reform in the manners of the lower
    orders. There are only three modes of teaching youth the way to
    well-doing--by precept, by example, and by habit at an early age.
    Precept, without example and habit, has but little weight, yet how
    can a child have either of these, if the parents are encouraged and
    assisted in living a vicious life? Nations and individuals should
    guard against those vices to which they find they have a natural
    disposition; and drinking and gluttony are the vices to which the
    common people in this country are the most addicted.

We now pass to some of the political action of the reign. In 1768,
Sir Francis Dashwood, Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed a new tax
on cider and perry, amounting to ten shillings on the hogshead. Earl
Stanhope states that the outcry was so vehement that a modification of
the scheme was all that was granted, and four shillings were to be paid
by the grower. In the Upper House the Bill was also strongly opposed,
but the Ministry carried the point. Bute incurred much odium. People
compared the rash disregard of popular opinion with which this measure
was pushed through with the conduct of Sir Robert Walpole, who had
bowed to the public demonstrations against his system of excise; and
when Bute’s resignation was announced many ascribed his retreat to the
alarm raised by the popular indignation. A caricature entitled, _The
Roasted Exciseman; or, the Jack Boot’s exit_, represents the enraged
mob burning the effigy of a Scotchman suspended on a gallows; a great
worn boot lies on the bonfire, into which a man is throwing an excised
cider barrel as fuel.

The City of London presented a petition against the tax at the bar of
the House of Commons, but to no effect; and in the cider counties it
was found hard indeed to enforce the duties imposed.

One of many lachrymations was Benjamin Heath’s _The Case of the County
of Devon_, 1763. An address to honest English hearts, being an honest
countryman’s reflections on the cider tax, 1763. Some plain reasons for
the repeal of the cider tax, dedicated to every man who pays taxes,
and particularly to the Honourable G---- J----, M.P. for Norfolk, &c.,
1763. An address to the electors, such as are not makers of cider and
perry, 1787.

The tax on beer, too, early in the reign, had greatly exasperated
the mob. The _Royal Magazine_ tells that while their Majesties were
at Drury Lane Theatre, to see the _Winter’s Tale_, as Garrick was
repeating the lines:--

    ‘For you, my hearts of oak, for your regale,
    Here’s good old English stingo, mild and stale,’

a fellow cried out of the gallery: ‘At threepence a pot, Master
Garrick, or confusion to the brewers!’

Imposts on _malt_ were continually brought forward. The brewers as well
as their clients were wild. Mr. Whitbread inveighed on one occasion
against the Ministers for laying a _war tax_ upon malt. Sheridan,
who was present, could not resist a shy at the brewer. He wrote on a
paper the following lines, and handed them to Mr. Whitbread across the

    They’ve raised the price of table drink;
    What is the reason, do you think?
    The tax on _malt_’s the cause I hear--
    But what has _malt_ to do with _beer_?

In 1791, the House of Commons was again induced to consider the
question, and a committee came to the resolution: ‘That the number of
persons empowered to retail spirits should be greatly diminished,’ &c.
Certain Acts were passed, encouraging the rival trade of the brewers.
_Grocers were prohibited from selling drams in their shops_, &c. The
Speaker of the House, in his speech at the bar of the Lords, March,
1795, and in an address delivered on presenting the Bills of Supply,
which received the unanimous thanks of the Lower House, thus referred
to the excellent result of even these small measures, and at the same
time enunciated a pregnant political truth. After alluding to the
increased prosperity and resources of the country, and to some measures
for decreasing the sale of spirits, he observes: ‘Satisfied, however,
that those resources and that prosperity _cannot be permanent without
an effectual attention to the sobriety of the people, their morals and
peaceable subordination to the laws_, they have, by an arrangement of
duties which promises also an increase of revenue, relieved the brewing
[trade] from all restriction of taxes, so as to give it a decided
advantage over the distilling, and thereby discourage the too frequent
and immoderate use of spirituous liquors, _a measure which must conduce
to sobriety, tranquillity, and content_, and under which the people,
encouraged in regular industry, and the consequent acquisition of
wealth, must feel the blessings,’ &c., of good government.

Under the dark days that followed, from 1795 to 1800--days of rebellion
at home and revolution abroad--_this_ subject was lost sight of,
unhappily for the interests of all. The Acts which had initiated so
much good, were allowed to expire, discouragement to the use of spirits
ceased, grocers were again allowed to dispense the drug to women and
families, and debauchery rioted and revelled as before.[229]

In 1796, among the next taxes introduced, was an additional duty of
twenty pounds per butt on wine. Discontent ensued. Pitt’s alleged
propensity furnished the material for satire. Gillray represented him
under the character of Bacchus, and his friend Dundas under that of
Silenus, in a caricature entitled _The Wine Duty, or the Triumph of
Bacchus and Silenus_. John Bull, with empty bottle and empty purse, and
with long face, addresses his remonstrance: ‘Pray, Mr. Bacchus, have
a bit of consideration for old John; you know as how I’ve emptied my
purse already for you, and it’s woundedly hard to raise the price of a
drop of comfort, now that one’s got no money left for to pay for it!’

Among the taxes of 1799 was one upon beer, which would have the effect
of raising the price of porter to fourpence the pot, and which would
most affect the working classes. The Tory satirists pretended to
sympathise most with the Whig Dr. Parr, a great porter drinker. Gillray
published a sketch of the supposed _Effusions of a Pot of Porter_, or
‘ministerial conjurations for supporting the war, as lately discovered
by Dr. P----r, in the froth and fumes of his favourite beverage.’ A
pot of four-penny is placed on a stool, from the froth of which arises
Pitt, mounted on the white horse, brandishing a flaming sword. The
Doctor’s reverie is a satire on the innumerable mischiefs which popular
clamour laid to the charge of the Minister:--

    Fourpence a pot for porter! Mercy upon us! Ah! it’s all owing
    to the war, &c. Have not they ruined the harvest? Have not they
    blighted all the hops?

Wine was manufactured in England at this period. Sir Richard Worsley
tried the experiment of an _English vineyard_. He planted the most
hardy species of vine in a rocky soil at St. Lawrence, Isle of Wight,
and engaged a French vine-dresser. He achieved a success, but only
temporary. He abandoned the project. A certain Mr. Hamilton attempted
the same at Painshill, on a soil of gravelly sand. His first attempt
at red wine failed. He then turned his attention to white wine, in
which he tells Sir E. Barry, the experiment surpassed his most sanguine
expectations. Many good judges thought it better than any champagne
they had ever drunk. Such an experience was certainly exceptional.

Faulkner (_Antiquities of Kensington_) quotes the following memorandum
from the MS. notes of Peter Collinson:--

    _October 18, 1765._--I went to see Mr. Roger’s vineyards at
    Parson’s Green [at Fulham], all of Burgundy grapes, and seemingly
    all perfectly ripe; I did not see a green, half-ripe grape in
    all this quantity. He does not expect to make less than fourteen
    hogsheads of wine. The branches and fruit are remarkably large, and
    the wine very strong.

George IV. was born in 1770, and came to the throne in 1820.
Intemperance, amidst other vices, was a feature of his moral career.
The surroundings of his birth augured ill. Mrs. Draper, who attended
the Queen with her two first children, was dismissed from her duties in
consequence of her habitual inebriety. His proclivity very nearly cost
him dear while yet a youth. At a dinner party at Lord Chesterfield’s
house at Blackheath, the whole company drank to excess, and betook
themselves to riotous frolic. One of the party let loose a big fierce
dog, which at once flew at one of the footmen, tore one of his arms
terribly, and nearly strangled a horse. The whole party now formed
themselves into a compact body and assailed Towzer, who resolutely
defended himself, and had just caught hold of the skirts of the coat
of his Royal Highness, when one of the party by a blow on the head
felled the dog to the ground. In the confusion, however, the Earl of
Chesterfield fell down the steps leading to his house, and severely
injured the back of his head. The Prince, who scarcely knew whether he
had been fighting a dog or a man, jumped into his phaeton, and there
fell asleep, leaving the reins to his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland,
who took him safely to town.[230]

The Prince was a member of the Catch and Glee Club at the Thatched
House Tavern. He is (says Huish) the reputed author of the second
verse to the glee of the _Happy Fellow_, ‘I’ll ne’er,’ &c.; and of the
additional verse to the song, ‘By the gaily circling glass,’ which he
used to sing in his convivial moments with great effect. Nothing more
distinctly points to the ineradicable nature of his diseased habit,
than his conduct upon the arrival of his bride-elect--Caroline of
Brunswick. Lord Malmesbury, the sole witness, tells the story:--

    I ... introduced the Princess Caroline to him. She very properly
    attempted to kneel to him. He raised her (gracefully enough) and
    embraced her, said barely one word, turned round, retired to a
    distant part of the apartment, and, calling me to him, said:
    ‘Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy.’ I said:
    ‘Sir, had you not better have a glass of water?’ upon which he,
    much out of humour, said with an oath: ‘_No_; I will go directly to
    the Queen.’

The remark of the princess to Malmesbury, was: ‘Mon Dieu, est-ce que le
Prince est toujours comme cela?’

Lord Holland has stated that at the wedding the Prince had drunk so
much brandy, that he could scarcely be kept upright between two dukes.
The reckless extravagance of the Prince involved him in pecuniary

    Not a farthing could be raised on the responsibility of any of
    his immediate associates; the whole of the party were actually in
    a state of the deepest poverty; and Major Hanger, in the history
    of his life, mentions a circumstance in which he, Sheridan, Fox,
    _an illustrious individual_, and a Mr. Berkeley, repaired to a
    celebrated tavern then known by the name of the Staffordshire
    Arms, where after carousing with some dashing Cyprians who were
    sent for on the occasion, the combined resources of the whole of
    the party could not defray the expenses of the evening. On this
    occasion, Sheridan got so intoxicated that he was put to bed, and
    on awakening in the morning, he found himself in the character of a
    hostage for the expenses of the previous night’s debauch.[231]

It must, however, be admitted, that when once upon the throne, he had
the rare capability of uniting dignity with hilarity. An incident in
connection with a public _toast_ is worthy of narration. When the
King visited Scotland, a banquet was given by the Lord Provost of
Edinburgh in the Parliament House. The King, in returning thanks for
the reception given him, said:--

    I take this opportunity, my Lords and Gentlemen, of proposing the
    health of the Lord Provost, _Sir_ William Arbuthnot, _Baronet_, and
    the Corporation of Edinburgh.

Thus did the King confer the baronetcy upon the president. A
complication of disease terminated his reign in 1880.

The Public-house Regulation Act of 1758 was in force till 1828, when
a consolidating Act was passed, with an appeal to justices in quarter

Its chief provisions are:--

    1. Licences to be granted _only from year to year_, at a special
    session of magistrates; with power of applicant to appeal to the
    quarter sessions in case of refusal of licence: and the refusing
    justices not to vote there.

    2. Applicants for licence to affix notice of their intention of
    applying, on the door of the house, and of the church of the parish
    in which it is situated, for three prior Sundays, and serve a copy
    on one of the overseers and one of the peace officers.

    3. In case of actual or apprehended tumult, two justices may direct
    the publican to close his house: disobedience to be esteemed as

    4. The licence stipulates that the publican shall not adulterate
    his liquors, _or allow drunkenness, gaming, or disorder_; that he
    shall not suffer persons of notoriously bad character to assemble
    therein; and that he shall not, _save to travellers_, open his
    house during Divine Service on Sundays and holy-days.

    5. Heavy and increasing penalties for repeated offences against
    the terms and tenor of the licence; magistrates at sessions being
    empowered to punish an alehouse-keeper, convicted by a jury of a
    third offence, by a fine of 100_l._, or to adjudge the licence to
    be forfeited.

The Distillery Act of 1825 requires notice.

By the enactment of 1825, no person can obtain a _licence_ for
conducting a distillery, unless he occupies a tenement of the value
of 20_l._ a year, pays parish rates, and resides within a quarter
of a mile of a market town containing 500 inhabited houses. Before
obtaining a licence, the amount of which is 10_l._, he must lodge with
the collector, or other officer of excise, an entry or registry of his
premises, the several apartments and utensils, specifying the contents
of the vessels and the purposes for which they are intended; and every
such room and utensil must be properly labelled with its appropriate
name and object. With the registry must be delivered a drawing, or
description of the construction, use, and course of every fixed pipe
in the distillery, as well as of all casks and communications therewith
connected. Pipes for the conveyance of worts or wash must be painted
red, those for low wines or feints, blue; those for spirits, white;
for water, black. No still can be licensed of a less content than 400
gallons, nor can the distiller make spirits at the same time from
different materials. The distiller must give notice of the gravity at
which he intends to make his wort. These are specimens only of the
conditions imposed. Before this enactment, distillation was confined to
a few capitalists; but, with a view of encouraging a fair competition
in the trade, and inducing the people to take the spirits directly from
the distillers, the Act was passed.

The drink temperature was maintained throughout all classes of society.
Charles Knight gives an apt description of a Christmas in London in

    The out-door aspects of London enjoyment at Christmas were not
    unobserved by me. Honestly to speak, it was a dismal spectacle.
    In every broad thoroughfare, and in every close alley, there was
    drunkenness abroad; not shamefaced drunkenness, creeping in maudlin
    helplessness to its home by the side of the scolding wife, but
    rampant, insolent, outrageous drunkenness. No decent woman even in
    broad daylight could at the holiday seasons dare to walk alone in
    the Strand or Pall Mall.

The stronger spirituous liquors were all the rage; and it was under
the impression that by making beer, &c., more readily accessible,
there would be less demand for the fire-water, that the Beerhouse Act
was passed, of which we shall soon speak. But before doing so, let us
recall the names of one or two who ranged themselves on the side of

James Montgomery writes:--

    Many might be profited by the resolute perusal of the ‘Confessions
    of an Opium Eater’ with self-application, for every habitual
    indulgence of appetite beyond what nature requires or will endure
    for the health of body or mind is a species of opium-eating. Such
    cordials, exhilaratives, and stimulants are generally, in the
    first instance, resorted to as lenitives of pain, reliefs from
    languor, or resources in idleness; they soon become necessary
    gratifications, affording little either of pleasure or of pain
    in the use (though non-indulgence is misery) till in the sequel
    they grow into tyrannous excesses that exhaust the animal spirits,
    debilitate the mind, and consume the frame with disease which no
    medicine can reach. The drunkard in this sense is an opium-eater;
    he puts an ‘enemy into his mouth that steals away his senses,’ and
    the fool’s paradise, into which liquor transports him, lies on
    ‘the broad way that leadeth to destruction.’ The snuff taker and
    the tobacco smoker in this sense are opium-eaters; these luxuries,
    as well as eating and drinking, may be enjoyed in moderation,
    but where does moderation end and abuse begin? That fine line of
    distinction was never yet traced with assurance, and the only
    safety lies many a league on the right side of it. The Indian weed
    may be less promptly deleterious than the Asiatic, but in this
    country it is scarcely a question that the former destroys more
    victims than the latter.

Sydney Smith writes thus to Lady Holland, in 1828:--

    Many thanks for your kind anxiety respecting my health. I not
    only was never better, but never half so well; indeed, I find I
    have been very ill all my life, without knowing it. Let me state
    some of the goods arising from abstaining from all fermented
    liquors. First, sweet sleep; having never known what sweet sleep
    was, I sleep like a baby or a plough-boy. If I wake, no needless
    terrors, no black visions of life, but pleasing hopes and pleasing
    recollections: Holland House, past and to come! If I dream, it is
    not of lions and tigers, but of Easter dues and tithes. Secondly, I
    can take longer walks, and make greater exertions, without fatigue.
    My understanding is improved, and I comprehend political economy,
    I see better without wine and spectacles than when I used both.
    Only one evil ensues from it: I am in such extravagant spirits
    that I must lose blood, or look out for some one who will bore or
    depress me. Pray leave off wine:--the stomach is quite at rest; no
    heartburn, no pain, no distention.

In 1824 Carolina Nairne, _née_ Carolina Oliphant, became Baroness
Nairne, her husband, Major Nairne, being restored to a barony granted
to his family in the time of Charles I.

She appears to be the first writer of a thorough teetotal song. It was
entitled _Haud ye frae the cogie_.

    There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
      There’s custocks in Stra’bogie;
    And morn and e’en they’re blythe and bein
      That haud them frae the cogie.
    Now haud ye frae the cogie, lads:
      Oh, bide ye frae the cogie!
    I’ll tell ye true, ye’ll never rue
      O’ passin by the cogie.

    Young Will was braw and weel put on,
      Sae blythe was he and vogie;
    And he got bonnie Mary Don,
      The flower o’ a’ Stra’bogie.
    Wha wad ha’e thocht at wooin’ time,
      He’d e’er forsaken Mary,
    And ta’en him to the tipplin’ trade
      Wi’ boozin’ Rob and Harry?

    Sair Mary wrought, sair Mary grat,
      She scarce could lift the ladle;
    Wi’ pithless feet, ‘tween ilka greet,
      She’d rock the borrow’d cradle.
    Her weddin’ plenishin’ was gane--
      She never thocht to borrow;
    Her bonnie face was waxin’ wan--
      And Will wrought a’ the sorrow.

    He’s reelin’ hame ae winter’s nicht,
      Some later than the gloamin’;
    He’s ta’en the rig, he’s missed the brig,
      And Bogie’s o’er him foamin’.
    Wi’ broken banes, out ower the stanes,
      He creepit up Stra’bogie,
    And a’ the nicht he prayed wi’ micht
      To keep him frae the cogie.

    Now Mary’s heart is light again--
      She’s neither sick nor silly;
    For auld or young, nae sinfu’ tongue
      Could e’er entice her Willie;
    And aye her sang through Bogie rang--
      ‘O haud ye frae the cogie;
    The weary gill’s the sairest ill
      On braes o’ fair Stra’bogie.’

King William IV. (1830-1837) rigidly practised temperance. Indeed he
zealously promoted it before his accession to the throne. One incident
may serve as an illustration. On the death of the keeper of Bushy Park,
the King, then Duke of Clarence, appointed the keeper’s son to succeed
him. This young man broke his leg, a circumstance which elicited the
practical sympathy of the Duke. After his recovery, the young man took
to drinking; so the Duke, in order to cure him of the propensity,
required his attendance every night at eight o’clock, and if he
appeared in liquor reprimanded him the following morning. But all to no
purpose. The infatuated keeper died from the effects of intemperance.

The King however was fond of giving _toasts_ after dinner, when his
prosy speeches were notorious.

The following specimen of toasts at a public banquet is taken from that
given on the occasion of the opening of London Bridge.

    As soon as the royal visitors had concluded their repast, the Lord
    Mayor rose, and said: ‘His most gracious Majesty has condescended
    to permit me to propose a toast. I therefore do myself the high
    honour to propose that we drink His Most Gracious Majesty’s Health,
    with four times four.’ The company rose, and, after cheering him
    in the most enthusiastic manner, sang the national anthem of ‘God
    save the King.’ His Majesty bowed to all around, and appeared to be
    much pleased.

    Alderman Sir Claudius Hunter then rose, and said: ‘I am honoured
    with the permission of his Majesty to propose a toast. I therefore
    beg all his good subjects here assembled to rise, and to drink that
    ‘Health and every Blessing may attend Her Majesty the Queen.’’
    Which was accordingly done, with the utmost enthusiasm.

    The Lord Mayor then presented a gold cup, of great beauty, to
    the King, who said, taking the cup: ‘I cannot but refer, on this
    occasion, to the great work which has been accomplished by the
    citizens of London. The City of London has been renowned for its
    magnificent improvements, and we are now commemorating a most
    extraordinary instance of their skill and talent. I shall propose
    the source from whence this vast improvement sprung, ‘The Trade and
    Commerce of the City of London.’’

    The King then drank what is called the ‘loving cup,’ of which every
    other member of the Royal Family present most cordially partook.

    His Majesty next drank the health of the Lord Mayor and Lady
    Mayoress, for which his lordship, in a few words, expressive of the
    deepest gratitude, thanked his Majesty. The chief magistrate soon
    after was created a Baronet.

Prominent amongst the legislative beacons of the present century is the
famous _Beer Act_ of 1830. Spirit drinking was terrible; a remedy was
sought; the expedient adopted was the Beer Act.

At the Middlesex Sessions, held on Thursday, January 21, 1830, Mr.
Serjeant Bell alluded to the increase of the consumption of gin as
a dreadful and horrible evil. A year ago there were 825 inmates in
the Middlesex Pauper Hospital, but now the number was between 1,100
and 1,200, the increase being mainly attributable to the practice of
gin drinking. Sir George Hampson said that the gin-shops were now
decorated and fitted up with small private doors, through which women
of the middle, and even above the middle classes of society, were
not ashamed to enter, and take their dram, when they found they could
do so unobserved. Sir Richard Birnie bore testimony to the dreadful
prevalence of drunkenness in the Metropolis: _there were 72 cases
brought to Bow Street on the Monday previous_, for absolute and beastly
drunkenness, and what was worse, _mostly women, who had been picked
up in the streets_, where they had fallen dead drunk: but while he
deplored the enormity of the evil, he declared that it was difficult to
find any remedy for it.

Hoping to do good by substituting beer for spirits, an Act was passed
in the 1st Will. IV., ‘to permit the general sale of beer and cider by
retail in England.’ The following are its main provisions:--

    1. That any _householder_ desirous of selling malt-liquor, by
    retail, in any house, may obtain an excise licence on payment of
    two guineas, and for cider only, on paying one guinea.

    2. That a list of such licences shall be kept at the Excise office,
    open to the inspection of the magistrates.

    3. That the applicant must give a bond, and find surety for the
    payment of penalties incurred.

    4. Penalty for vending wine and spirits, 20_l._

    5. In case of riot, magistrates can command the closing of the

    6. Penalties for disorderly conducting of the house.

    7. Not to open before four A.M., and to close at ten P.M., and
    during Divine Service on Sundays and holy-days.

How did it work? How did it operate upon the consumption (1) of beer,
(2) of spirits? During the ten years preceding the passing of the
Beerhouse Act, the quantity of malt used for brewing was 268,139,389
bushels: during the ten years immediately succeeding, the quantity
was 344,143,550 bushels, showing an increase of 28 per cent. During
the ten years 1821-1830, the quantity of British spirits consumed was
57,970,963 gallons, and during the next ten years it rose to 76,797,365
gallons, an increase of 32 per cent. All this clearly proved that the
increased facilities for getting beer created a greater demand for
spirits. During the year following the Act, more than 30,000 beer-shops
were opened in England and Wales. In Sheffield, as one instance, 300
beer-shops were added to the old complement of public-houses; and it
is especially to be noted that before the second year had transpired,
110 of the keepers of these houses had applied for _spirit_ licences to
satisfy the desire for ardent drinks.

On the motion of the Marquis of Chandos, April 18, 1833, it was
ordered in the House of Commons ‘That a select committee be appointed
to inquire into the state and management of houses in which beer is
sold by retail under the Act 1st Will. IV., cap. 64, commonly called
beer-shops, and with a view to making such alterations in the law as
may tend to their better regulation, and to report their observations,
together with their opinion thereon.’ Thirty-two members were appointed
as the committee, and April 22, ten others were added to it. The
committee sat April 24, 26, 30, May 1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, 20,
21, 22, 24. The witnesses examined were in number 59, among whom
were A. Magendie, late Assistant Poor Law Commissioner: A. Crowley
(brewer of Alton), magistrates, magistrates’ clerks, beer-sellers,
farmers and others. The Marquis of Chandos presided at most of the
sittings of the committee. The committee’s report, dated June 21, 1833,
contains fifteen resolutions, of which the first was:--‘That it is the
opinion of the committee from the evidence that has been adduced that
considerable evils have arisen from the present management and conduct
of beer-houses.’ The other resolutions expressed the committee’s
opinion that every applicant should produce a certificate of good
character signed by six rated inhabitants of the parish or township
(not beer-sellers)--the certificate to be signed by the overseer or
assistant overseer, as a proof that the six persons named were rated
inhabitants; that, besides other penalties, magistrates should be
able on a second conviction to suspend licences for two years or
less--a third offence to involve a disqualification for three years;
that beer-houses should be closed till half-past twelve on Sunday,
that the hours of keeping open at night should be extended in towns
and restricted in country districts; and in the last resolution the
committee ‘suggest the revisal of the system under which all beer and
spirit shops are licensed, and (without expressing a decisive opinion
on this extensive subject) your committee feel that very serious
reasons of justice and public advantage may be adduced in favour of the
assimilation of all the regulations as to hours and management to which
every description of house licensed to sell beer or spirituous liquors
by retail should be subjected.’ No legislation was superinduced upon
this report.[232]

In 1834 Mr. Buckingham moved ‘that a select committee be appointed to
inquire into the extent, causes, and consequences of the prevailing
vice of intoxication among the labouring classes of the United Kingdom,
in order to ascertain whether any legislative measures can be devised
to prevent the further spread of so great a national evil.’

This committee, composed of some of the most eminent members of
the House, including the late Sir Robert Peel, sat for upwards of
twenty-one days receiving evidence. The official report tendered a
number of recommendations for repressing the manufacture, importation,
and sale of alcoholic liquors, showing that this national disease of
drunkenness stood in need of sharp and speedy remedies; and that the
administration of these remedies was clearly within the province of the

The report is much too long for transcription; but the principles they
lay down are worthy of all acceptation.

(1) That the _right_ of legislative interference for the correction of
any evil which affects the public weal, cannot be questioned.

(2) That the _power_ to apply correction by legislative means cannot
be doubted, without supposing the better portion of the community
unable to control the excesses of the ignorant and disorderly, which
would be to declare our incapacity to maintain the first principles of
government by ensuring the public safety.

(3) That the _sound policy_ of applying legislative power to direct,
restrain, or punish the vicious propensities of the evil disposed,
cannot be disputed, without invalidating the right of government to
protect the innocent from the violence of the guilty, which would in
effect declare all government to be useless; an admission that would
undermine the very first principles of society.

Then follow what they propose as:--

    _Immediate Remedies, Legislative and Moral._

    The separation of the houses in which intoxicating drinks are sold
    in four distinct classes. (1) Houses for the sale of beer only--not
    to be consumed on the premises. (2) Houses for the sale of beer
    only--to be consumed on the premises, and in which refreshments
    of food may also be obtained. (3) Houses for the sale of spirits
    only--not to be consumed on the premises. (4) Houses for the
    accommodation of strangers and travellers, where bed and board may
    be obtained, and in which spirits, wine, and beer may all be sold.

    The limiting the number of such houses, of each class, in
    proportion to population in towns, and to distances and population
    in country districts: the licences for each to be annual, and
    granted by magistrates and municipal authorities rather than by the
    excise; to be chargeable with larger sums annually than are now
    paid for them, especially for the sale of spirits; and the keepers
    of such houses to be subject to progressively increasing fines for
    disorderly conduct, and forfeiture of licence and closing up of the
    houses for repeated offences.

    The closing of all such houses at earlier hours than at present,
    and for the most part uniformly with each other. The first and
    second classes of houses, in which beer only is sold, to be closed
    on Sunday, except for one hour, afternoon and evening; the third
    class of houses, where spirits only are sold, to be entirely closed
    all Sunday; and the fourth class, as inns or hotels, to be closed
    to all visitors that day, save only travellers and inmates.

    The making all retail spirit-shops as open to public view as
    provision shops.

    The refusal of retail spirit licences to all but those who would
    engage to confine themselves exclusively to dealing in that
    article: and consequently the _entire separation_ of the retail
    sale of spirits _from groceries_, provisions, wine or beer, except
    only in inns.

    The discontinuance of all issues of ardent spirits (except
    medicinal) to the navy and army, &c., and the substitution of
    articles of wholesome nutriment. The abolition of all garrison and
    barrack canteens, and the substitution of some other and better
    mode of filling up the leisure of men confined within military
    forts and lines: the opinions of most of the military officers
    examined on this point by your Committee being that the drinking in
    such canteens is the most fertile source of all insubordination,
    crime, and consequent punishment inflicted on the men.

    The withholding from the ships employed in the merchant service
    the drawback granted to them on foreign spirits, by which they are
    now enabled to ship their supplies of that article at a reduced
    scale of duty, and are thus induced to take on board a greater
    quantity than is necessary, to the increased danger of the property
    embarked, and to the injury of the crew. The prohibition of the
    practice of paying the wages of workmen at public-houses, or any
    other place where intoxicating drinks are sold.

    The providing for the payment of such wages to every individual his
    exact amount, except when combined in families: so as to render
    it unnecessary for men to frequent the public-houses, and spend a
    portion of their earnings to obtain change.

    The payment of wages at or before the breakfast hour in the
    mornings of the principal market-day in each town, to enable the
    wives or other providers of workmen to lay out their earnings in
    necessary provisions at an early period of the market, instead of
    risking its dissipation at night in the public-house.

    The prohibition of the meetings of all friendly societies, sick
    clubs, money clubs, masonic lodges, or any other permanent
    associations of mutual benefit and relief at public-houses, or
    places where intoxicating drinks are sold; as such institutions,
    when not formed expressly for the benefit of such public-houses,
    and when they are _bonâ fide_ associations of mutual help in the
    time of need, can, with far more economy and much greater efficacy,
    rent and occupy for their periodical meetings equally appropriate
    rooms in other places.

    The establishment, by the joint aid of the Government and the
    local authorities and residents on the spot, of public walks, and
    gardens, or open spaces for athletic and healthy exercises in the
    open air, in the immediate vicinity of every town, of an extent,
    and character adapted to its population; and of district and parish
    libraries, museums, and reading rooms, accessible at the lowest
    rate of charge; so as to admit of one or the other being visited
    in any weather, and at any time; with the rigid exclusion of all
    intoxicating drinks of every kind from all such places, whether in
    the open air or closed.

    The reduction of the duty on tea, coffee, and sugar, and all the
    healthy and unintoxicating articles of drink in ordinary use; so
    as to place within the reach of all classes the least injurious
    beverages on much cheaper terms than the most destructive.

    The encouragement of Temperance Societies in every town and village
    of the kingdom, the only bond of association being a voluntary
    engagement to abstain from the use of ardent spirits as a customary
    drink, and to discourage, by precept and example, all habits of
    intemperance in themselves and others.

    The diffusion of sound information as to the extensive evils
    produced to individuals and to the State, by the use of any
    beverage that destroys the health, cripples the industry, and
    poisons the morals of its victims.

    The institution of every subordinate auxiliary means of promoting
    the reformation of all such usages, courtesies, habits and customs
    of the people, as lead to intemperate habits; more especially the
    exclusion of ardent spirits from all places where large numbers
    are congregated either for business or pleasure, and the changing
    the current opinion of such spirits being wholesome and beneficial
    (which the frequent practice of our offering them to those whom we
    wish to please or reward so constantly fosters and prolongs) into
    the opinion of their being a most pernicious evil, which should on
    all occasions be avoided, as poisoner of the health, the morals,
    and the peace of society.

    The removal of all taxes on knowledge, and the extending every
    facility to the widest spread of useful information to the humblest
    classes of the community.

    A national system of education, which should ensure the means of
    instruction to all ranks and classes of the people, and which,
    in addition to the various branches of requisite and appropriate
    knowledge, should embrace, as an essential part of the instruction
    given by it to every child in the kingdom, accurate information
    as to the poisonous and invariably deleterious nature of ardent
    spirits, as an article of diet, in any form or shape; and the
    inculcation of a sense of shame at the crime of voluntarily
    destroying, or thoughtlessly obscuring that faculty of reasoning,
    and that consciousness of responsibility, which chiefly distinguish
    man from the brute, and which his Almighty Maker, when He created
    him in His own image, implanted in the human race to cultivate, to
    improve, and to refine--and not to corrupt, to brutalise, and to

_Ultimate or Prospective Remedies._

The ultimate or prospective remedies which have been strongly urged by
several witnesses, and which _they_ think, when public opinion shall be
sufficiently awakened to the great national importance of the subject,
may be safely recommended, include the following:--

    (_a_) The absolute prohibition of the importation from any foreign
    country, or from our colonies, of distilled spirits in any shape.

    (_b_) The equally absolute prohibition of all distillation of
    ardent spirits from grain.

    (_c_) The restriction of distillation from other materials, to the
    purposes of the arts, manufactures, and medicine, and the confining
    the wholesale and retail dealing in such articles to chemists,
    druggists, and dispensaries alone.

Finally they conclude:--

    As your Committee are fully aware that one of the most important
    elements in successful legislation is the obtaining the full
    sanction and support of public opinion in favour of the laws--and
    as this is most powerful and most enduring when based on careful
    investigation and accurate knowledge as the result, they venture
    still further to recommend the most extensive circulation during
    the recess, under the direct sanction of the Legislature, of an
    abstract of the evidence obtained by this inquiry, in a cheap and
    portable volume, as was done with the Poor Law Report, to which it
    would form the best auxiliary; the national cost of intoxication
    and its consequences being tenfold greater in amount than that of
    the poor-rates, and pauperism itself being indeed chiefly caused
    by habits of intemperance, of which it is but one out of many
    melancholy and fatal results.

By 4th and 5th William IV., the preamble whereof recites _that much
evil had arisen from the management of houses in which_ beer _and_
cider _are sold_, it was enacted that each beer-seller is to obtain
his annual excise licence _only on condition_ of placing in the hands
of the excise, _a certificate of good character signed by six rated
inhabitants of his parish_ (none of whom must be brewers or maltsters),
if in a town of 5,000 inhabitants; but the house to be one rated at
10_l._ a year. This Act also distinguishes between persons who sell
liquor _to be drunk on the premises_, and those who sell it only to be
drunk elsewhere. By a Treasury order, beer sold at, or under, 1½_d._
per quart, may be retailed without licence.

It is well known that Lord Brougham was a warm advocate of the Beer
Act in the first instance. He entirely changed his opinion. In 1839, he
said in the Upper House:--

    To what good was it that the Legislature should pass laws to punish
    crime, or that their lordships should occupy themselves in finding
    out modes of improving the morals of the people by giving them
    education? What could be the use of sowing a little seed here, and
    plucking up a weed there, if these beer-shops were to be continued
    that they might go on to sow the seeds of immorality broadcast over
    the land, germinating the most frightful produce that had ever been
    allowed to grow up in a civilised country, and, he was ashamed
    to add, under the fostering care of Parliament, and throwing its
    baleful influences over the whole community?

Queen Victoria had scarcely ascended the throne before she was reminded
that the evils of the drink traffic were upmost in the minds of many of
her Majesty’s subjects. At a Conference held at Carnarvon, August 2,
1837, a congratulatory address to the Sovereign upon her accession was
drawn up. It stated:--

    To this declaration not less than one hundred thousand of your
    Majesty’s loyal subjects have already subscribed their names,
    some thousands of whom had previously been drunkards. And could
    we convey to your royal mind the incalculable benefits resulting
    from the simple means of total abstinence from intoxicating liquor,
    we would with humble confidence earnestly entreat your Majesty to
    condescend to patronise our endeavour to wipe away from Britain the
    plague-spot of drunkenness.

In the treatment of this period, we have to confront an apparent
anomaly, viz. the largest drink bills on record, and the most strenuous
efforts to get rid of drink altogether. That the Statute Book bristles
with legislative interference, is sufficiently accounted for by these
two circumstances. In no period has legislation been to the same extent
an index of the precise situation. Let us at once address ourselves to
its salient features.

By the 2nd and 3rd Victoria, called the _Metropolitan Police Act_,
operating within a circle of fifteen miles from Charing Cross, all
public-houses are to be shut on Sundays until one o’clock P.M., _except
for travellers_: and publicans are _prohibited_, under penalties of
20_l._, 40_l._, and 50_l._, for the first, second, and third offences,
_from selling spirits to young persons under sixteen years of age_.

By the 3rd and 4th Victoria a licence can only be granted to the _real_
occupier of the house; and the rated value to be 15_l._ in towns of
10,000 inhabitants; 11_l._ in towns of between 2,500 and 10,000; and
8_l._ in smaller places. The hours for opening and closing within the
metropolitan boroughs are 5 A.M. and 12 P.M.; but 11 o’clock in any
place within the bills of mortality, or any city, town, or place not
containing above 2,500 inhabitants. In smaller places 10 o’clock P.M.
On any Sunday, Good Friday, or Christmas Day, or any day appointed for
a public fast or thanksgiving, the houses are not to be opened before
one o’clock P.M. Licensed victuallers and keepers of beer-shops who
sell ale _to be drunk on the premises_, may have soldiers billeted on

    On June 15, 1849, a Select Committee of the Lords, on the motion of
    the Earl of Harrowby, who became its chairman, was appointed ‘to
    consider the operations of the Acts for the sale of beer, and to
    report thereon to the House.’ The Committee held sittings June 25,
    28, July 5, 12, 13, and 20. Next session it was reappointed, and
    took evidence February 28, March 5 and 19; and the report agreed
    upon bears date May 3, 1850. Fifteen witnesses were examined in
    the first session, and ten in the second session. The Committee’s
    report refers to the evidence and petitions which had come before
    them, and then proceeds: ‘On a review of all the statements and
    opinions which have thus been brought before them, the Committee
    have no hesitation in stating that the expectations of those who
    proposed the existing system have not been realised. Their object
    appears to have been to create a class of houses of refreshment,
    respectable in character, brewing their own beer, diminishing
    by the supply of a cheap and wholesome beverage the consumption
    of ardent spirits, and thus contributing to the happiness and
    comforts of the labouring classes. But it appears that of these
    houses only one-twelfth brew their own beer; that a very large
    proportion are, as in the case of public-houses, the actual
    property of brewers, or tied by advances to them; that they are
    notorious for the sale of an inferior article; that the consumption
    of ardent spirits has, from whatever cause, far from diminished;
    and that the comforts and morals of the poor have been seriously
    impaired. It was already sufficiently notorious that drunkenness
    is the main cause of crime, disorder, and distress in England, and
    it appears that the multiplication of houses for the consumption
    of intoxicating liquors, which under the Beer Act has risen from
    88,930 to 123,396, has been thus in itself an evil of the first
    magnitude, not only by increasing the temptations to excess,
    which are thus presented at every step, but by driving houses,
    even those under the direct control of the magistrates, as well
    as others originally respectable, to practices for the purpose of
    attracting custom which are degrading to their character, and most
    injurious to morality and disorder.’ The increase of crime is next
    adverted to, and the defects of the system pointed out, such as an
    ‘unlimited multiplication’ of the worst class of beer-houses, the
    want of security as to character, the low rating, the opening of
    beer-houses in obscure localities--‘But, perhaps, the evil of all
    the most difficult to deal with is the absence of all control save
    by legal conviction almost impracticable to attain.’ ‘The magnitude
    of these evils has led to a widely-extended feeling in favour of an
    abandonment of that part of the existing law by which consumption
    on the premises is permitted. But the existence of houses conducted
    under a beer licence with propriety and advantage, and the length
    of time which this system has already endured, have made the
    Committee unwilling to contemplate a change so extensive until
    experience shall have proved that it is impossible by other means
    to abate the evil.’ The suggestions of the Select Committee were
    to the effect that all beer and coffee-shops should be open to the
    visits of the police; that new applicants for a beer licence should
    be compelled to procure certificates from the magistrates in Petty
    Sessions that they were satisfied as to the rating and character
    of the applicant; that the rating should be in places with less
    than 2,500 population, 10_l._; under 10,000, 15_l._; above 10,000,
    20_l._ (the rating required by the existing law being, severally,
    8_l._, 11_l._, and 15_l._); that applicants should give one month’s
    notice, the notice to be affixed for three weeks to some public
    place, before the Petty Sessions, at which three out of six of the
    certifiers to character should attend with the overseers of the
    respective parishes, rate-book in hand; no magistrate’s certificate
    to be granted to any person convicted of misdemeanour or who had
    forfeited a spirit licence; no person licensed to sell beer for
    consumption on the premises to sell any other article except
    refreshments and tobacco; that debts for intoxicating liquors drunk
    on the premises not to be recoverable by law.[233]

In 1853, a Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to
examine into the system under which public-houses, &c., are regulated,
with a view of reporting whether any alteration of the law can be made
for the better preservation of the public morals, the protection of
the revenue, and for the proper accommodation of the public; which sat
for 41 days, examining witnesses and considering evidence, under the
able presidency of the Right Hon. C. P. Villiers (§ 29). The report and
evidence, now published, form two ponderous Blue-books of 1,174 folio
pages. The chief points of the _Report from the Select Committee on
Public-houses_, July 1854, are the following:--

    1. The distinctions as to licences lead to evasion of the law.

    2. The distinction between beer-shops and public-houses give rise
    to unhealthy competition, under which both parties are drawn to
    _extreme expedients for the attraction of custom_. Mr. Stanton, a
    publican, says:--‘There is a great deal of gambling carried on in
    Birmingham, although the police do all they can to put it down. If
    the licensed victuallers did not allow it, the parties would go to
    a beer-house.’

    3. _Beer is seldom at the public-house what it was at the
    brewery._ A late partner in one of the metropolitan breweries
    says:--‘It is quite notorious if you drink beer at the brewery, and
    at a public-house a little way off, you find it a very different
    commodity’ (4538).

    4. The drinks are _adulterated_, as well as diluted. Mr. Ridley,
    who has under his management certain offices for the analysation
    of alcoholic liquors, states that there are several _recipes_,
    such as ‘To a barrel of porter [add] 12 gallons of liquor, 4 lbs.
    of foots, 1 lb. of salt; and sometimes to bring a head up [and lay
    it down?], a little _vitriol_, _cocculus indicus_, also a variety
    of things very minute’ (4700). Mr. J. W. McCulloch, analytic
    chemist, in 40 samples of brewers’ beer, found 10½ gallons
    proof spirit to every 100 gallons, but at several of the licensed
    victuallers supplied by those brewers it did not reach 7; and out
    of 150 samples there was not one within 20 per cent. of the brewery

    5. That magistrates do not enforce the law, or very rarely.

    6. ‘_The beer-shop system has proved a failure._ It was established
    under the belief that it would give the public their beer cheap and
    pure; would dissociate beer-drinking from drunkenness, and lead to
    the establishment, throughout the country, of a class of houses
    of refreshment, altogether free from the disorders _supposed_ to
    attend _exclusively_ on the sale of spirits.’

    7. The Committee concur in the statement of the Lords’ Report on
    the Sale of Beer Act, that ‘It was already sufficiently notorious
    _that drunkenness is the main cause of crime, disorder, and
    distress in England_; and it appears that the multiplication of
    houses for the consumption of intoxicating liquors, under the Beer
    Act, has risen from 88,930 to 123,306.’

    8. That throughout the country ‘the publicans are completely under
    the thumb of the brewers.’

    9. The trade of a publican is looked upon as a _peculiar
    privilege_. The hope of obtaining a licence increases beer-shops.

    10. It seems desirable that a higher rate of duty be paid for a
    licence, and more stringent regulations enforced as to character
    and sureties.

    11. Statistics of intemperance defective. The evidence before the
    Committee is sufficient to show that the amount of drunkenness
    is very much greater than appears upon the face of any official

    12. There are many places where beer is sold without a licence.
    Some of them, under cover of the law permitting beer at 1½_d._ a
    quart to be sold without licence, sell also porter and ale (6882).
    ‘At the single town of Fazeley there are about 30 houses that sell
    porter, ale, and beer indiscriminately; they are private houses,
    known as “Bush-houses,” from their having a bush over the door as a
    sign to their frequenters’ (4838, 6840). At Oldham ‘there are from
    400 to 500 such places, known there as _Hush-shops_, where they
    brew their own beer, and have each their own known customers.’ At
    Bolton, at Preston, and in Hampshire and London, similar practices
    are more or less prevalent (3664, 3679).

    13. ‘The _temptation_ is strong to encourage intemperance, _and a
    vast number of the houses for the sale of intoxicating drinks live
    upon drunkards and the sure progress of multitudes to drunkenness_.’

    14. ‘Your Committee do not feel it _necessary_ to follow the
    evidence upon the connection of intoxicating drinks with crime;
    it has, directly or indirectly, been the subject of inquiry at
    different times, and has been reported upon by numerous committees
    of your Honourable House, who bear _unvarying testimony_ both
    to the general intemperance of criminals, _and the increase
    and diminution of crime in direct ratio with the increased or
    diminished consumption of intoxicating drinks_.... The entire
    evidence tends to establish that it is _essential_ that the sale of
    intoxicating drinks shall be under strict supervision and control.’

    15. ‘The testimony is _universal_ that the greatest amount of
    drinking takes place on Saturday night, and during the hours that
    the houses are allowed by law to be open on Sunday.’

    16. ‘It need not be matter of surprise that in view of the vast
    mass of evils found in connection with intemperance, it should have
    been suggested altogether to _prohibit_ the manufacture and sale of
    intoxicating drinks. Laws to that effect are in force in the States
    of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Michigan, in
    the United States; and your Committee have had before them several
    zealous promoters of an Association established to procure the
    enactment of similar laws in England.’[234]

On July 13, 1854, Colonel Wilson Patten strove to give effect to the
provisions of the Villiers Committee. His Bill, known as the ‘Sunday
Beer Act,’ was ‘A Bill for further regulating the sale of beer and
other liquors on the Lord’s day.’

This Act closed public-houses and beer-shops on _Sunday_, from
half-past two o’clock P.M. until six P.M., and from ten o’clock on
Sunday evening until four A.M. on Monday. During the few months of its
operating, there was a sensible abatement of drunkenness and disorder,
as is testified by the returns from the police, throughout the country.
We cite places by way of specimen. _Warrington_: ‘A most remarkable
difference is observable in the general order which prevails throughout
the town, as well as by the discontinuance of fearful affrays, and
riotous conduct.’ _Liverpool_: ‘The new Act,’ says Mr. Greig, head
constable of the police, ‘has been attended with the most beneficial
results.’ _London_: Mr. G. A’Beckett, magistrate of the Southwark
Police Court, in a letter to the _Times_, Jan. 8, 1855, says, ‘that
on the Monday mornings before the Act, the business of the court was
greater than on any other days, but that since, it had only averaged
two cases of drunkenness for each Sunday.’ In 1855, the Wilson Patten
Act was superseded by the New Beer Bill of Mr. Henry Berkeley, which
extended the hour of closing to eleven at night, and gave a little more
freedom to the traffic on the Sunday afternoon. The history of this
remarkable piece of legislation is worth preserving, as a monument of
its author’s--character. In a speech delivered by him, at the second
anniversary dinner of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, Bristol,
reported in the _Bristol Mercury_, of Nov. 4, 1854, he said, that
after Wilson Patten’s Bill had passed the second reading, he had been
waited on by a deputation, but that being the ‘eleventh hour,’ no
successful opposition could then be offered. He believed the words he
used to the deputation were, ‘If nobody else comes forward I will have
a _shy_ at it.’ This it will be seen, was just _before_ the Bill became
law, and, therefore, _before_ it had gone into effect. Mr. Berkeley
opposed it without trial, and stood pledged against it without regard
to its results. On Feb. 20, 1855, immediately after the meeting of
Parliament, Mr. Berkeley, in his place in Parliament, inquired of the
Government, whether they intended to do anything in reference to the
Act, and received a reply that it was not their intention to repeal it.
Mr. Berkeley then recommended the appointment of a select committee.
This created considerable division among the publicans, who held many
meetings for discussion, at all of which Mr. Berkeley was recognised
as ‘_their_ experienced and talented _adviser_.’ (See the _Daily
News_, April and May, 1855, and _The Era_ of April 22.) On April 23 a
meeting of delegates is reported, in _The Era_ of the 29th, to have
been held in Mr. Painter’s public-house, Bridge Street, Westminster,
which resulted in the appointment of a deputation to _consult_ with Mr.
Berkeley. The deputation is reported to have waited on Mr. Berkeley
in the lobby of the House of Commons. ‘A long desultory conversation
ensued, after which Mr. Berkeley advised the delegates to confer
among themselves, and to consider well the course which would be most
beneficial for them to pursue. _He would postpone for a week his motion
for a Select Committee...._ Eventually his advice was accepted, and on
June 26, 1855, his motion for a Select Committee was agreed to by the
House--Mr. Cobbett, the seconder, remarking that no legislation could
be attempted that session.[235]

In 1860, Mr. Gladstone’s _Wine Licences Act_ was passed. This measure
permitted foreign wines to be sold for consumption on the premises
to various classes of refreshment houses. It gave concurrent power
to grocers, &c., to sell those wines in bottles for consumption off
the premises. The introducer of this measure, then Chancellor of the
Exchequer, stated that the proposal was not intended merely as a
means of raising revenue, but as one carrying out the principles of
free trade, and contributing to the comforts and conveniences of the
people.[236] The following statistics have been carefully gathered by
Mr. Samuelson, from which some estimate may be formed of the effect
produced by this legislation of Mr. Gladstone:--Beginning with the year
1859, the wine imported from France was 695,911 gallons; from Spain
and Portugal, 4,893,916 gallons; whilst in 1876 the wine imported from
France was 6,745,710 gallons, and from Spain and Portugal, 10,186,332
gallons. The importation of strong wines had therefore actually fallen
below the average of 1863-65, whilst that of French wine had increased
tenfold by the reduction of the duty.[237]

In 1863, Mr. J. Somes introduced into Parliament his _Sunday Closing
Bill_, which proposed to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors,
except to _bonâ fide_ travellers, from eleven o’clock on Saturday night
to six o’clock Monday morning. The Bill was rejected.

In March 1864, Sir W. Lawson introduced into the House his _Permissive
Bill_; which provides that on application of any district, the votes of
the ratepayers shall be taken as to whether the traffic shall exist in
that district or not; a majority of two-thirds of the ratepayers being
necessary to decide the question. This Bill was the embodiment of the
principles of the ‘United Kingdom Alliance.’

In 1868, the Bill of Mr. John Abel Smith was rejected; which, while
prohibiting Sunday drinking on the premises, allowed four hours for the
sale of dinner and supper beer.

In 1869, the Government adopted the Bill of Sir H. Selwyn-Ibbetson,
entitled _The Wine and Beerhouse Act_, which transferred the power of
licensing beer-houses from the excise to the magistracy, who now could
exercise over all applications for new beer and wine licences the same
discretionary control, as in the case of spirit licences. By this
measure the number of such houses was limited. But the 50,000 existing
houses, with the exception of a few denounced dens, were perpetuated--a
new monopoly and with it a new vested interest was created, and a point
of reform was reached much below that for which the public opinion of
the country was prepared.[238]

In 1869, Mr. Peter Rylands moved for the adoption of his
Resolution,--‘That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that
any measure for the general amendment of the laws for licensing
public-houses, beer-houses, and refreshment houses, should include the
prohibition of the sale of liquors on Sunday.’ This fell through. But
in 1871, the same member succeeded in getting read a second time a
much modified Bill, which was, however, negatived when it came on for

In 1871, Lord Aberdare (then Mr. Bruce), the Home Secretary,
introduced a Bill on behalf of the Government, with the professed
object of reforming the laws relating to the licensing of the sale of
intoxicating liquors. He denounced, in his introductory speech, the
existing laws as seriously defective, and tending to undermine the
best interests of the community. The Bill was thorough, honest, and
calculated in ten years to have changed the face of the community, by
its many provisions calculated to restrain the traffic as well as the
hours of sale, week day and Sunday.

Amongst its wisest provisions was the appointment of inspectors of the
trade. But a panic set in, and Mr. Bruce was obliged to withdraw, and a
suspensory measure preventing the issue of any fresh licences for the
next year, was introduced by Sir R. Anstruther, and became law. In two
years, however, it was succeeded by an amended Bill, which rendered its
chief provisions practically null.

In 1872, Mr. Hugh Birley introduced his Sunday Closing Bill into the
House. But it got no further than its first reading.

In 1876, Mr. Joseph Cowen’s Bill for the establishment of licensing
boards was thrown out.

In 1877, Mr. Chamberlain introduced a motion for the adoption of the
‘Gothenburg System,’ the main principle of which is, that municipal
corporations should have power to buy up and become owners of
public-house licences, their agents to have no personal or pecuniary
interest in the profits, but rather be encouraged to push the sale of
food and non-intoxicants, and all profits derived from the sale of
intoxicating liquors be devoted to the relief of the rates, &c. The
motion was rejected.

In 1876 ‘The Lords’ Committee on Intemperance’ was appointed, on the
motion of Dr. Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘for the purpose of
inquiring into the prevalence of habits of intemperance, and into the
manner in which these habits have been affected by recent legislation
and other causes.’[239]

In 1877-78, the committee, not having as yet acted, was reappointed.
One hundred witnesses were examined, including members of Parliament,
magistrates, clergymen, constables, municipal authorities, doctors,
merchants, &c. In their bulky report, issued in 1879, they recommend:--

    1. That legislative facilities should be afforded for the local
    adoption of the Gothenburg and Chamberlain schemes, or of some
    modification of them.

    2. That renewals of beer-house licences before 1879 should be
    placed on the same footing as those of public-houses.

    3. That in cases of decisions affecting the renewal of licences in
    boroughs having separate quarter sessions, the appeal shall be to
    the Recorder, where there is one, and not to the county justices.

    4. That justices should be authorised to refuse transfers on the
    same grounds of misconduct as those on which renewals of licences
    are now refused.

    5. That no removal of a licence from house to house should be
    sanctioned without allowing the inhabitants of the interested
    locality the opportunity of expressing their objections.

    6. A considerable increase in licence duties.

    7. Licensed houses outside the metropolis, not to open before 7
    A.M. and be closed earlier than at present.

    8. That licensed houses in Scotland and Ireland be closed one hour
    earlier than at present on week-days.

    9. That on Sundays, licensed houses in the metropolis should be
    open from _one_ to _three_ P.M. for consumption off the premises,
    and for consumption on, from _seven_ to _eleven_ P.M. In other
    places from 12.30 to 2.30 P.M. for consumption off, and for
    consumption on the premises from 7 to 10 P.M. in populous places,
    and from 7 to 9 in others.

    10. Even if a person, professing to be a _bonâ fide_ traveller, has
    on the previous night lodged outside the 3-mile limit, as defined
    by the Act, it still rests with the magistrates to determine
    whether he be a _bonâ fide_ traveller or not.

    11. That justices should have discretionary power of licensing
    music-halls and dancing saloons in the country as at present in the
    metropolis, whether connected with public-houses or not, and that
    all such places should be subject to supervision by the police.

    12. That certain serious offences should entail the compulsory
    endorsement of the licence, and that the treating of constables
    should be added to the list of offences included in the category.

    13. That any person ‘having or keeping for sale’ any intoxicating
    liquors without a licence, should be liable to penalties of the
    same description and amount as those under the existing law ‘for
    selling or exposing for sale,’ and that the powers of apprehension
    upon warrant in cases of illicit drinking should be generally

    14. That the entering of liquors under some other name upon the
    bill of a shopkeeper holding a licence to sell off the premises
    should be an offence against the licence punishable by immediate

    15. That a list of convictions kept by the justices’ clerks should
    be legal evidence of previous convictions.

    16. That all occasional licences to sell elsewhere than on licensed
    premises should be granted by two justices at quarter sessions.

    17. That fines and penalties should apply in Scotland as in England.

    18. That the ‘Grocers’ Licence’ recommendation of the Royal
    Commission of 1877 should be adopted in Ireland.

    19. That in Ireland and Scotland, as in England, no spirits should
    be sold to children under sixteen.[240]

In 1879, Dr. Cameron’s Habitual Drunkards Bill became law.

In the same year, Mr. Stevenson introduced the English Sunday Closing
Bill, which met with a by no means unfavourable reception, though it
was not at present carried. The following year he moved again in the
same direction. Mr. Pease carried an amendment to this which provided
for off sale during limited hours in the country, and for such modified
sale in the metropolitan districts as would satisfy the wish of the

In 1880, Sir Wilfrid Lawson carried his ‘Local Option’ resolution,
by a majority of twenty-six. This was another form of the original
‘Permissive Bill.’ All detail is here omitted. It affirms the justice
of local communities being entrusted with the power to protect
themselves from the operation of the liquor traffic.

In June, 1881, the same baronet moved: ‘That in the opinion of this
House, it is desirable to give legislative effect to the resolution
passed on June 18, 1880.’ This was carried by a majority of forty-two.

Earl Stanhope’s Bill for preventing payment of wages in public-houses
has passed the Upper House.

An important scheme of amendment of the licensing laws was put forward
by the ‘Committee on Intemperance for the Lower House of Convocation of
the Province of Canterbury.’

    Convinced that without an improved and stringent system of
    legislation, and its strict enforcement, no effectual and permanent
    remedy for intemperance can be looked for, they urge as

                         _Legislative Remedies_

    1. The repeal of the Beer Act of 1830, and the total suppression of
    beer-houses throughout the country.

    2. The closing of public-houses on Sunday, _bonâ fide_ travellers

    3. The earlier closing of public-houses on week-days, especially on

    4. A great reduction in the number of public-houses throughout the
    kingdom; it being in evidence that in proportion as facilities for
    drinking are reduced, intemperance is restrained.

    5. Placing the whole licensing system under one authority.

    6. The rigid enforcement of the penalties now attached to
    drunkenness, both on the actual offenders and on licensed persons
    who allow drunkenness to occur on their premises.

    7. Passing an Act to prevent the same person holding a music,
    dancing, or billiard licence, in conjunction with a drink licence.

    8. Prohibiting the use of public-houses as committee rooms at
    elections, and closing such houses on the days of nomination and
    election in every Parliamentary borough.

    9. The appointment of a distinct class of police for the inspection
    of public-houses, and frequent visitation of publics for the
    detection of adulterations, to be followed, on conviction, with
    severe penalties.

    10. The repeal of all the duties on tea, coffee, chocolate, and

    11. Your Committee, in conclusion, are of opinion that as the
    ancient and avowed object of licensing the sale of intoxicating
    liquors is to supply a supposed public want, without detriment
    to the public welfare, a legal power of restraining the issue or
    renewal of licences should be placed in the hands of the persons
    most deeply interested and affected--namely, the inhabitants
    themselves--who are entitled to protection from the injurious
    consequences of the present system. Such a power would, in effect,
    secure to the districts, willing to exercise it, the advantages now
    enjoyed by the numerous parishes in the Province of Canterbury,
    where, according to reports furnished to your Committee, owing to
    the influence of the landowner, no sale of intoxicating liquors is

Few, it may be believed, are cognisant of the fact that there are at
this time within the Province of Canterbury, more than one thousand
parishes in which there is neither public-house nor beer-shop; and
where, in consequence of the absence of these inducements to crime and
pauperism, the intelligence, morality and comfort of the people are
such as the friends of temperance would have anticipated.

The non-legislative recommendations urge the removal of benefit clubs
from taverns, the discontinuance of wage-payment in them, and the
providing of ample and varied counter-attractions.

Thus much for legislation, and for the impulses that stimulate
thereunto. Much has been written both for and against restriction.
Violently opposed to it was Mr. John Stuart Mill, who may well claim to
be the mouthpiece of the adversaries of prohibition. Speaking on the
laws against intemperance in his _Essay on Liberty_, he remarks:--

    Under the name of preventing intemperance, the people of one
    English colony, and of nearly half the United States, have been
    interdicted by law from making any use whatever of fermented
    drinks, except for medical purposes; for prohibition of their sale
    is, in fact, as it is intended to be, prohibition of their use. And
    though the impracticability of executing the law has caused its
    repeal in several of the states which had adopted it, including the
    one from which it derives its name, an attempt has notwithstanding
    been commenced, and is prosecuted with considerable zeal by many
    of the professed philanthropists, to agitate for a similar law
    in this country. The association, or ‘Alliance,’ as it terms
    itself, which has been formed for this purpose, has acquired some
    notoriety through the publicity given to a correspondence between
    its secretary and one of the very few English public men who hold
    that a politician’s opinions ought to be founded on principles.
    Lord Stanley’s share in this correspondence is calculated to
    strengthen the hopes already built on him, by those who know
    how rare such qualities as are manifested in some of his public
    appearances, unhappily are among those who figure in political
    life. The organ of the Alliance, who would ‘deeply deplore the
    recognition of any principle which could be wrested to justify
    bigotry and persecution,’ undertakes to point out the ‘broad and
    impassable barrier’ which divides such principles from those of the
    association. ‘All matters relating to thought, opinion, conscience,
    appear to me,’ he says, ‘to be without the sphere of legislation;
    all pertaining to social act, habit, relation, subject only to a
    discretionary power vested in the state itself, and not in the
    individual to be within it.’ No mention is made of a third class,
    different from either of these--namely, acts and habits which are
    not social, but individual--although it is to this class, surely,
    that the act of drinking fermented liquors belongs. Selling
    fermented liquors, however, is trading, and trading is a social
    act. But the infringement complained of is not on the liberty
    of the seller, but on that of the buyer and consumer; since the
    state might just as well forbid him to drink wine, as purposely
    make it impossible for him to obtain it. The secretary, however,
    says: ‘I claim, as a citizen, a right to legislate whenever my
    social rights are invaded by the social act of another.’ And now
    for the definition of these ‘social rights.’ ‘If anything invades
    my social rights, certainly the traffic in strong drink does. It
    destroys my primary right of security, by constantly creating and
    stimulating social disorder. It invades my right of equality,
    by deriving a profit from the creation of a misery I am taxed
    to support. It impedes my right to free moral and intellectual
    development, by surrounding my path with dangers, and by weakening
    and demoralising society from which I have a right to claim mutual
    aid and intercourse.’ A theory of ‘social rights,’ the like of
    which probably never before found its way into distinct language;
    being nothing short of this, that it is the absolute social right
    of every individual, that every other individual shall act in
    every respect exactly as he ought; that whosoever fails thereof in
    the smallest particular, violates my social right, and entitles
    me to demand from the legislature the removal of the grievance.
    So monstrous a principle is far more dangerous than any single
    interference with liberty; there is no violation of liberty which
    it would not justify; it acknowledges no right to any freedom
    whatever, except, perhaps, to that of holding opinions in secret,
    without ever disclosing them; for the moment, an opinion, which I
    consider noxious, passes any one’s lips, it invades all the ‘social
    rights’ attributed to me by the Alliance. The doctrine ascribes to
    all mankind a vested interest in each other’s moral, intellectual,
    and even physical perfection, to be defined by each claimant
    according to his own standard.

Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, from another point of view, and looking at
the probable effects of restraint, makes the following remarkable

    Obedience to his genius is a man’s only liberating influence. We
    wish to escape from subjection, and a sense of inferiority--and
    we make self-denying ordinances, we drink water, we eat grass,
    we refuse the laws, we go to jail: it is all in vain; only by
    obedience to his genius, only by the freest activity in the way
    constitutional to him, does an angel seem to arise before a man,
    and lead him by the hand out of all the wards of the prison.[241]

And it was from deep conviction, and not as a flippant apophthegm,
that Bishop Magee pronounced that he preferred to see England free, to
England sober.

Yet Mr. Augustus Sala, a man of ample observation and reflection,
thought otherwise. He says:--

    We drink the very strongest liquors that can be brewed or
    distilled; the classes among us who are not decent are in the habit
    of getting mad drunk, and of fighting, after the manner of wild
    beasts when they have a chance of using their fists, their feet,
    or their teeth on each other, or on the guardians of the law. Our
    places of licensed victualling are merely ugly dens, where the
    largest number of sots can get tipsy in the shortest space of time;
    and Sunday in London with all the public-houses, all the music
    halls thrown unrestrictedly open from morning till night would
    exhibit the most horrible terrestrial _inferno_ that eye ever
    beheld, that the ear ever heard, or the heart ever sickened at. We
    are so very strong and stalwart, and earnest, and English, in a
    word, that we need in our diversions a number of restrictive check
    and kicking-straps, which the feebler and less pugnacious people of
    the Continent do not require.[242]

He felt that:--

    Law does not put the least restraint
    Upon our freedom, but maintains it:
    Or, if it does, ‘tis for our good
    To give us freer latitude
    For wholesome laws preserve us free
    By stinting of our liberty.

Or, as it has been admirably expressed:--

    There are wheels within wheels, and there are liberties within
    liberties; and what we contend for in respect to liberty is this,
    that we are preaching against a liberty which is created, and for a
    liberty which is eternal.

At any rate, as long as it can be proved that drunkenness prevails in
any sense in the direct ratio of the facilities for obtaining drink, so
long must the question of those facilities remain upon the legislative

The problem is: can you separate the facilities for getting drink from
those of getting drunken. For the man who can solve this problem, a
niche in the temple of fame remains unfilled.

There are plenty who are ready to exclaim that the causes of excess
are easy to define. They would tell us that it arises from an unholy
alliance between human nature and artificial stimulant. And they would
glibly argue--take away the man from the drink, or the drink from
the man, and excess is at an end. But one of these factors, human
nature, declines the divorce. Still, however, there remains a sphere
for legislative and philanthropic effort. There may be a loosing of
the bands of this too often unholy alliance. You may get rid of many
predisposing causes.

One of these, and a powerful one, is _ignorance_, and that of many
kinds. Mr. Buckle remarks:--

    The most active cause of crime is drunkenness, and this is caused
    partly by misery, partly by ignorance, which makes men think it
    a _remedy_, and partly by a want of intellectual occupation....
    Drunkenness caused by an _ignorant_ belief that without spirits
    and beer, strength to work cannot be kept up.... The greater
    the amount of misery and depression, the greater the amount of

M. Compte thought that drunkenness is promoted by an _ignorance of its
results_: and there is an element of truth here. How many vainly look
to it to drive away remorse, care, and sorrow; thus, Horace (i. 18):--

    Mordaces aliter diffugiunt sollicitudines.

Liebig, in his _Letters on Chemistry_, says that it is the effect of
_poverty_, deficient nutriment requiring the compensation of alcohol.
Horace seems to have combined these notions:--

    Ebrietas quid non designat? operta recludit
    Spes jubet esse ratas: in prælia trudit inertem,
    Sollicitis animis onus eximit: addocet artes.
    Fæcundi calices, quem non fecere disertum?
    Contracta quem non in paupertate solutum.

And to much the same effect, Ovid:--

    Vina parant animos, faciuntque coloribus aptos.
    Cura fugit, multo diluiturque mero.
    Tunc veniunt risus, tunc pauper cornua sumit,
    Tunc dolor et curæ, rugaque frontis abit.
    Tunc aperit mentes, ævo rarissima nostro
    Simplicitas, artes excutiente Deo.

Others assign as the cause _depressing influences_. Thus in the
_Transactions of Association for Promoting Social Science_, London,
1859, pp. 86-89, ‘it is said that crime is caused by drunkenness, and
that (drunkenness) by foul air and the depressing influence of bad
localities, bringing with it a fierce desire for stimulants, and by bad
and deficient water.’

The poet Burns contributed not a little to the popular notion that
under such circumstances strong drink (particularly the ‘mountain dew’)
was the panacea:--

    Food fills the wame, an’ keeps us livin’:
    Tho’ life’s a gift no worth receivin’,
    When heavy dragg’d wi’ pine and grievin’;
                  But oil’d by thee,
    The wheels o’ life gae down-hill scrievin’,
                  Wi’ rattlin glee.

    Thou clears the head o’ doited lear;
    Thou cheers the heart o’ drooping care;
    Thou strings the nerves o’ labour sair,
                  At’s weary toil;
    Thou even brightens dark despair
                  Wi’ gloomy smile.

Again, the _social usages of society_ have a powerful tendency to
indulgence. Friendship and good cheer seem indissolubly intertwined.
Cups that cheer have long been regarded as essential items. But it must
be set down as an unquestionable fact that in the higher circles of
society, far less is drunk than formerly. The London clubs are a very
fair index of the condition of things existing within that sphere.
In them, excess is now practically unknown; at any rate in the more
select clubs. Their cellars teem with good wine now, as they did half a
century ago, when we read:--

    The value of the stores found in the cellars of the various
    Club-houses in London, may be adduced in evidence of the
    estimation in which wine is held, by a portion, at least, of
    the higher classes in the metropolis. Carlton Club, 1,500_l._;
    United University Club, not much under 2,000_l._ The Literary and
    Scientific Athenæum, 3,500_l._ to 4,000_l._ The Union Club appears
    to exceed the rest in the contents of its cellars, which remarks
    the writer, from whose work we extract this information, ‘disguise
    it as people will, is the most important matter after all.’ The
    stock of wine (the Chairman declares it to be an under-estimate)
    according to a recent valuation, amounts to 7,150_l._ The Junior
    United Service Club values its stock of wines at 3,722_l._ Those
    of the United Service Club are worth, it is said, 7,722_l._[244]

But riot and rowdyism are things of the past.

Among the middle classes, many of the compulsory drinking usages are
swept away. In Mr. Dunlop’s interesting volume, no less than 297 of
these _usages_ are specified as then rife.[245] A much improved tone is
observable amongst _commercial travellers_ than some fifty years ago,
when the modern Ramazzini wrote:--

    Well fed, riding from town to town, and walking to the houses
    of the several tradesmen, they have an employment not only more
    agreeable, but more conducive to health than almost any other
    dependent on traffic. But they destroy their constitutions by
    intemperance; not generally by drunkenness, but by taking more
    liquor than nature requires. Dining at the traveller’s table, each
    drinks his pint or bottle of wine; he then takes negus or spirit
    with several of his customers, and at night he must have a glass or
    two of brandy and water. Few commercial travellers bear the employ
    for thirty years--the majority not twenty.[246]

And Mr. Samuelson, in his _History of Drink_, sees traces of an
improving tone amongst the operative classes; of which, amongst other
things, the dissociation of benefit and other clubs from taverns, is an

There are fewer now to sneer at the efforts for a moral regeneration.
It may be doubted if Mr. Barham would to-day gloat over his lines in
the _Milkmaid’s Story_:--

    Mr. David has since had a ‘serious call,’
    He never drinks ale, wine, or spirits, at all,
    And they say he is going to Exeter Hall
    To make a grand speech, and to preach, and to teach
    People that ‘they can’t brew their malt liquor too small.’
    That an ancient Welsh Poet, one Pyndar ap Tudor,
    Was right in proclaiming ‘Ariston men Udor!’
    Which Means ‘The pure Element is for Man’s belly meant!’
    And that _Gin’s_ but a _Snare_ of Old Nick the deluder!

Some of the finest writers of our time have exercised their pen in
describing the horrors of intemperance. Charles Kingsley writes:--

    Go, scented Belgravians, and see what London is. Look! there’s
    not a soul down that yard, but’s either beggar, drunkard, thief,
    or worse. Write anent that! Say how ye saw the mouth o’ Hell, and
    the twa pillars thereof at the entry--the Pawnbroker’s shop o’
    one side, and the Gin-palace at the other--twa monstrous deevils,
    eating up men and women and bairns, body and soul. Look at the jaws
    o’ the monsters, how they open and open and swallow in anither
    victim and anither. Write anent _that_!... Are not they a mair
    damnable, man-devouring Idol than ony red-hot statue of Moloch,
    or wicker Magog, wherein the auld Britons burnt their prisoners?
    Look at those bare-footed, bare-backed hizzies, with their arms
    round the men’s neck, and their mouths full o’ vitriol and beastly
    words! Look at that Irishman pouring the gin down the babbie’s
    throat! Look at that rough of a boy gaun out o’ the pawnshop, where
    he’s been pledging the handkerchief he stole the morning, into the
    ginshop, to buy beer poisoned wi’ grains of paradise and cocculus
    indicus, and salt, and a’ damnable, maddening, thirst-breeding,
    lust-breeding drugs! Look at that girl that went in with a
    shawl on her back, and cam’ out without ane! Drunkards frae the
    breast!--harlots frae the cradle!--damned before they’re born![247]

Mr. Ruskin has said that

    drunkenness is not only the cause of crime, but that it _is_ crime;
    and that if any encourage drunkenness for the sake of the profit
    derived from the sale of drink, they are guilty of a form of moral
    assassination as criminal as any that has ever been practised by
    the bravos of any country or of any age.

Even Carlyle could doff his mannerism to state his conviction that gin
is the most authentic incarnation of the infernal principle that is yet
discovered. Cobden and Bright have hurled at the whole business their
unmeasured anathemas.

But probably no individual has done more, within living memory, to
educate and stimulate the national conscience than the late George
Cruikshank. From the first (says Mr. Thompson Cooper)[248] he had
shown a strong tendency to administer reproof in his treatment of
intoxication and its accompanying vices. Instances of this tendency
are to be found in his _Sunday in London_, _The Gin Trap_, _The
Gin Juggernaut_, and more especially in his series of eight prints
entitled _The Bottle_; the latter of which had eminent success, and
was dramatised at eight theatres in London at one time. It brought
the author into direct personal connection with the leaders of the
temperance movement. As he, moreover, became a convert himself to their
doctrines, he was one of the ablest advocates of the temperance cause.
Of late years, Mr. Cruikshank turned his attention to oil-painting,
a branch of art in which he so far educated himself as to make his
pictures sought after by connoisseurs.

The great work by which this Hogarth of the nineteenth century will be
remembered in the present connection is a large picture entitled _The
Worship of Bacchus_, which he exhibited to the Queen at Windsor in
1863. An engraving of this picture has been published in which all the
figures are outlined by the painter, and finished by Mr. H. Mottram.
The painting itself is now the property of the nation.[249]

In addition to individual endeavour, countless societies, national,
provincial, and local, have been formed throughout the country to stem
the evil; prominent among these are the Church of England Temperance
Society, with her Majesty the Queen as patron, and the entire bench of
bishops with numerous other leaders of society as its vice-presidents;
the National Temperance League; the United Kingdom Alliance; the United
Kingdom Band of Hope; the League of the Holy Cross, with many other
denominational societies; the Order of Good Templars; the Rechabites;
whilst the neophytes of Blue Ribbonism are legion.

Further than these, every species of counter-attraction is being
furthered.[250] Education is made possible, nay, compulsory, almost
to all. Better dwellings are being provided for the poor, and solid
security for their savings. Recreations are being provided for the
masses; and a vastly improved system of sanitation. The medical
world[251] is giving the subject its close attention, and as the result
of its labours of close observation and analysis, the fallacies of a
past and less scientific age are being dethroned; and as a tangible
outcome, temperance hospitals and homes are being erected.

And whilst philanthropy is engaged in one direction in reforming the
drunkards, in another it is busy in reforming the drinks. Thus, Mr.
Edward Bradbury writes in _Time_:--

    If Sir Wilfrid Lawson, and his fervent followers, would accomplish
    a substantial reform in the drinking habits of the United
    Kingdom, let them turn their zeal to the villanous compounds
    which audaciously counterfeit Scotch whiskey. Such spirits as
    are issued from this ancient Oban Distillery conduce to ‘good
    spirits.’ The influence of honest Scotch whiskey tends to joviality
    and generosity, instead of violence and murder; to good temper
    and amity instead of violence and blows. Bacchus by the ancients
    was regarded as the god of harmony and reconciliation. There
    are many poisonous pretenders to Scotch whiskey; and it is when
    fusel-oil masquerades as pure spirit that the evil comes. The
    licensed victualler who dispenses such abominable stuff ought to be
    treated as one of the criminal classes. It is liquid lunacy, fluid
    ferocity, distilled damnation, akin to that compound which Cassio
    drank in Cyprus, of which

        ‘Every cup is unbless’d, and the ingredient is a devil.’

    Much of the drunkenness which disgraces our civilisation is due
    to ‘doctored’ drink. Alfred Tennyson was incensed by this reign
    of adulteration when he wrote those impassioned lines in his poem

        ‘And the vitriol madness flushes up in the ruffian’s brain,
          Till the filthy by-lane rings to the yell of the trampled wife,
        And chalk and alum and plaster are sold to the poor for bread,
          And the spirit of murder works in the very means of life.’

    The quantity of ‘vitriol madness’ which unprincipled dealers push
    into the market, and which is sold cheaply to the unscrupulous
    proprietors of garish dram-shops to be disposed of dearly enough
    to deluded customers, is at once great and glaring. I wonder the
    Temperance party do not use their earnestness in the cause of
    reforming the drink, so that when the poor man wants whiskey he
    gets it, and not turpentine and fusel-oil and amylic atrocities; or
    when the doctor orders the sick woman port wine she is not imposed
    upon by a fraudulent decoction of logwood. Our ancestors, wiser
    in their generation, appointed ‘ale-tasters,’ who did their duty
    without fear or favour. Why cannot ‘spirit-tasters’ be introduced
    in our day? Or, why cannot whiskey come within the limits of the
    Food Adulteration Act? The quantity of bad whiskey made in Great
    Britain is amazing. To use the word ‘whiskey’ is an outrage of the
    term. ‘Patent spirit’ is the Excise description for this fluid,
    which is made by a special apparatus, known as the Coffey Patent
    Still, from maize, rice, damaged barley, &c. Malting would be too
    costly, so this material is converted into starch and saccharine by
    a process of vitriol. It is then passed through the Coffey Still by
    only one process, and boiled by steam instead of fire. The patent
    spirit is ostensibly sold for blending purposes, and for cheapening
    finer spirit. Some of these cheap whiskies are as combustible as
    that Bourbon spirit of which a man once partook, and found so
    inflammable that--blowing his nose directly afterwards--he found
    his pocket-handkerchief in flames. Such whiskey, they say in the
    States, kills dead at ten paces, and no human being drinking it
    ever lives to pay his debts.

Still, intemperance, like a myriad-headed monster, rears its hideous
head, and the usual thirty millions sterling in the shape of taxation
rolls into the lap of the reluctant Chancellor of the Exchequer.
_Reluctant_, for so they would have us understand their attitude
towards their gains from a nation’s indulgence. A comparatively recent
Chancellor, Sir Stafford Northcote, in his budget speech, 1874,

    If the reduction of the revenue derived from spirits be due to
    other causes; if it should be due to a material and considerable
    change in the habits of the people, and increasing habits of
    temperance and abstinence from the use of ardent spirits, I venture
    to say that the amount of wealth such a change would bring to the
    nation would utterly throw into the shade the amount of revenue
    that is now derived from the spirit duty.

Nearly a century ago, Sir Frederic Eden, in his _State of the Poor_,

    For government to offer encouragement to ale-houses, is to act the
    part of a _felo de se_. Nor ought the public ever to be lulled
    into an acquiescence by the flattering bait of immediate gain,
    which ere long they would be obliged to _pay back to paupers, in
    relief, with a heavy interest_.

Half a century before, the historian Smollett (v. 15) had remarked:--

    After all it must be owned that the good and salutary effects of
    the prohibition were visible in every part of the kingdom, and no
    evil consequence ensued _except a diminution of the revenue_ in
    this article [spirits], a consideration which ought at all times to
    be sacrificed to the health and morals of the people.

And nearly half a century before Smollett, John Disney (magistrate and
divine) had written:--

    I deny the assertion that the revenue of y^{e} crown will really be
    impaired by prohibiting tipling & drunk^{ss}.... 3 parts in 4 of
    the pore families in this kingdom have been reduced to want chiefly
    by haunting Taverns or Ale-houses. Espec^{y} labouring men, who
    very often consume there on the Lord’s day what they have gotten all
    the week before, & let their families beg or steal for a subsistence
    the week foll^{g}.... Now I suppose you will grant me that as the
    No. of poor & ruined families encreases in a nation, the Prince that
    governs must find a proportionable decay in his Revenue. On the
    other side, all such laws duly executed as keep men by sobriety
    temp^{ce} & frugality in a thriving condition, do most effectually
    provide for the happiness of the people & for the riches of the

    [Transcriber’s note: letters printed in ^{superscript} in the
    original text are thus indicated.]

But there are symptoms of a decline in this source of revenue. A
leading London daily paper has lately thus adverted to this momentous

    Official statistics go far to confirm the triumphant claim of total
    abstainers that the consumption of strong drink is falling off
    at a rate not distasteful to the philanthropist, but suggesting
    grave reflection to a Chancellor of the Exchequer. The receipts
    from beer, wines, and spirits have been estimated in all recent
    budgets at nearly thirty millions sterling a year, if we add to
    the excise the customs duties derived from foreign spirits; and,
    as this amount is considerably more than a third of the entire
    revenue, any causes that impair its growth or make it decline
    are of serious importance to the nation. That the revenue from
    excise is not increasing, but is actually falling behind, despite
    the change from a malt tax to a beer duty, is indisputable. That
    temperance habits have made prodigious strides in the last few
    years is also beyond question. Do the two changes stand to each
    other in the relation of effect to cause? In other words, is
    less of beer, spirits, wine consumed because there is a want of
    inclination, or is it from want of ability? Partly from the latter
    influence, there is little doubt. Total abstinence is popular
    with many because it is an aid to health; with others because
    it is the handmaid of morality and thrift; self-denying persons
    practise it because it sets an excellent example; and multitudes
    like it as it is economical.... In so far, then, as the need for
    retrenchment is one cause of reduced consumption of strong drink,
    a change in habit and in fashion might be expected to come with
    increased material prosperity. The nation ‘drank itself out of the
    Alabama difficulty’ in the exuberant days which saw Mr. Lowe at the
    Exchequer; and it may yet again take to tippling so heartily as to
    enable Mr. Childers to dispense with a portion of the income-tax.
    At present, however, there is not the faintest symptom of this;
    all the indications point in the other direction. Temperance and
    total abstinence march from one conquest to another, blessed by
    bishops, clergy, and even princes of the Christian Churches,
    patronised by doctors, eulogised by hard-headed men of business,
    and gathering in everywhere crowds of enthusiastic converts.
    The movement is sweeping over the nation in an unchecked tide,
    acquiring force as it goes, and inaugurating not change merely,
    but social revolution.... Such changes, needless to repeat, bode
    no good to the English Chancellor Exchequer, who has to sit idly
    contemplating the gradual running dry of more than one tributary
    rill, which he is at his wits’ end to replenish from other sources,
    or to replace by a more reproductive substitute. Perhaps it is too
    soon to moralise over the passing event, but it will be impossible
    long to postpone action, and to rest content with mere discussion.
    If the change we now witness is going to be permanent, that is, if
    the crusade on behalf of abstinence from strong drink is to proceed
    with redoubled success next year, Mr. Childers will not only he
    unable to make any allowance for an elastic growth of the excise
    receipts, but he will have to prepare for a diminution.

Had the coming event cast its shadow before? Isaac Disraeli long ago
predicted a _return_ to sobriety. We shall probably (said he) outlive
that custom of hard drinking, which was so long one of our national

Everyone devoutly longs for such a _terminus ad quem_. But _were_
the former days really better than these? Could we devoutly desire a
_return_ to any social era of the past? A pre-Elizabethan dietetic
millennium is a retrospective mirage. It was a phantom of the historian
Camden, which the elder Disraeli, and others in his wake, have
endeavoured to stereotype. Granted, that nations, like individuals,
are imitators; granted, that the English in their long wars in the
Netherlands learnt to drown themselves in immoderate drinking, and by
drinking others’ healths to impair their own; still it is _not_ true
that in those wars they ‘first’ learnt such excess, and it is _not_
true that ‘of all the northern nations, they had been before this most
commended for their sobriety.’ For at least one thousand years before
the Netherland wars, Britain had been stigmatised for intemperance.
Gildas had called attention in the sixth century to the fact that laity
and clergy slumbered away their time in drunkenness.

S. Boniface (a native of Britain) in the eighth century had written to
Cuthbert respecting the vice of drunkenness: ‘This is an evil peculiar
to pagans and _our_ race. Neither the Franks, nor the Gauls, nor the
Lombards, nor the Romans, nor the Greeks, commit it.’ We have already
noticed that the conquest of the English by the Normans has been
attributed especially to the then prevailing habit of intemperance:
that in the following century John of Salisbury could write: ‘Habits
of drinking have made the English famous among all foreign nations.’
How then could the Elizabethan town-wit, Tom Nash, write: ‘Superfluity
in drink is a sin that ever since we have mixed ourselves with the Low
Countries is counted honourable; but before we knew their lingering
wars, was held in that highest degree of hatred that might be’?[253]

No. It is a long story; and three centuries do not compass it. But
a better tone is beginning to prevail, which augurs well for a time
when abuse being buried in the hansard dust of oblivion, man may
not hesitate to use the gifts which a gracious Father has given His
children to enjoy.


[206] _England in the Eighteenth Century_, i. 479.

[207] See Pratt: _Flowering Plants_, vol. v. Also, Larwood: _History of

[208] John Byrom’s _Journal_, published by the Chetham Society.

[209] For the condition of the working classes, and the pauperism of
the time, see Defoe’s _Giving Alms no Charity_.

[210] In 1713, Dr. Browne, Bishop of Cork, delivered a discourse to the
clergy of his diocese, against drinking in remembrance of the dead,
which he published in pamphlet form. This was followed by a second
pamphlet, wherein he refuted charges that his critics had made, to the
effect that he was actuated by a spirit of hostility to the memory
of William III., it being well known that the Bishop was an extreme
Tory, and he had laid particular stress on the prevalent custom of
drinking to the ‘Immortal Memory of William III.’ This again excited
considerable adverse criticism; and in 1716 Dr. Browne launched forth
a somewhat exhaustive _Discourse of Drinking Healths_. But though
he handles his theme very ably, the tract is no more than a concise
epitome of the arguments and authorities used by the Puritan writers
of the previous century. It has been stated that the bishop did not
make many converts by his brochures: that, on the contrary, the custom
of drinking to William’s ‘immortal memory’ increased, and that to
the original form of the toast was tacked on a scurrilous expression
indicative of the extreme contempt in which the author of the diatribes
was held.[211]

[211] The writer has made use of his own little work entitled _The
History of Toasting_.

[212] Roger North’s _Life of Lord-Keeper Guildford_.

[213] _Parliamentary Report on Drunkenness_, p. 173.

[214] _English Commons Journal_, xxii.

[215] Selected from the speeches cited in the valuable Prize Essay of
Dr. Lees.

[216] Selected from the speeches cited in the valuable Prize Essay of
Dr. Lees.

[217] James Smith: _The Upas in Marybone Lane_.

[218] Mrs. Delany’s _Correspondence_, vi. 158 (cited by Lecky).

[219] Macaulay’s Essay on _Walpole’s Letters to Sir Horace Mann_.

[220] Scott: _Memoirs of Swift_.

[221] _A Treatise upon the Modes_, 1715.

[222] See Thackeray: _English Humourists_.

[223] Robert Druitt, _Report on Cheap Wines_.

[224] Roberts, _Social Hist. of Southern Counties_.

[225] By Joseph Haslewood.

[226] From _The Fortress_, a drama, 1807.

[227] Macaulay, _Comic Dramatists of the Restoration_.

[228] It may be mentioned that in the _seventeenth century drunkenness
was prescribed by some physicians_. ‘Quant au profit qui en peut venir
(i.e. drunkenness), outre les diarrhées et renversemens d’estomac qui
en procèdent, et qui font souvent de très-utiles purgations (ce qui
est en partie cause que quelques médecins prescrivent ces débauches
une fois le mois),’ &c. &c. (_Dialogue par o. Tubero_ [_i.e._ Mothe Le
Vayer], édit. Francfort, 1716, 12mo, tome ii. p. 158.)

[229] Lees. _Prize Essay._

[230] Huish, _Memoirs of George IV._

[231] _Ib._

[232] Dr. Dawson Burns.

[233] Dawson Burns.

[234] This account is taken from Lees, _Prize Essay_.

[235] Lees, _Prize Essay_.

[236] Winskill. _Temp. Reformation._

[237] Samuelson. _Hist. of Drink._

[238] Ellison; _The Church Temperance Movement_.

[239] The impulse to this action was given by the clerical memorial to
the bishops on intemperance in 1876, in which Prebendary Grier had the
principal hand. The memorial was signed by 13,584 of the clergy.

[240] I am indebted for this summary to Mr. Winskill’s _Comprehensive
History of the Temperance Reformation_.

[241] Emerson. _Complete Works_, i. 273.

[242] G. A. Sala. _Paris Herself Again._

[243] H. T. Buckle. _Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works_, vol. i. pp.
159, 160.

[244] _The Great Metropolis_, 1836.

[245] John Dunlop. _The Philosophy of Artificial and Compulsory
Drinking Usage_, 1839.

[246] C. T. Thackrah, _Effects of the Principal Arts, Trades, and
Professions_, p. 83.

[247] Alton Locke, 1850.

[248] _Men of the Time_, 1875.

[249] A life of this remarkable man is preparing for the press,
undertaken by a well-known scientist and author, who was his personal
friend and admirer.

[250] This subject is well handled by W. J. Conybeare in his _Essays
Ecclesiastical and Social_, pp. 429, &c.

[251] The names of such as Dr. B. W. Richardson, Sir H. Thompson,
Sir A. Clarke, Dr. Carpenter, Dr. Edmunds, Dr. Kerr, Dr. Heslop, Dr.
Crespi, will at once recur.

[252] Disney, _View of Ancient Laws against Immorality and
Prophaneness_. Camb. 1729.

[253] T. Nash, _Pierce Pennilesse_, 1595 (cited in I. Disraeli’s
_Curiosities of Lit._).


    Aberdare, Lord, 368

    Abingdon, 21

    Adam and Eve, the, 323

    Addison, J., 256

    Adulteration, 206, 259, 362, 384

    Æppelwin, 23

    Agapæ, 116

    Aix, Council of, 29

    Albemarle, Duke of, 229

    Alchemy, 67

    Alcohol, 67

    Alcuin, 29

    Aldrich, Dean, 243

    Ale, 4, 21, 22, 46, 88, 97, 116, 209, 223

    -- conners, 114

    -- house, see ‘Tavern’

    Alembic, 67

    Ales, 81, 153

    Ale-stake, 85, 115

    Aleppo, 215

    Alfred, King, 30, 33

    Alfric, see ‘Elfric’

    Algrade, 91

    Alicant, 67, 170, 206, 235

    Alliance, United Kingdom, 36

    Amabile vinum, 155

    Angel, the, 215, 265

    Angel’s food, 148

    Anjou, wines of, 78

    Anne, Queen, 250

    Anselm, 36, 61, 62

    Anstruther, Sir R., 368

    Antioche, 91

    Ape-drunk, 152

    Aqua vitæ, 143

    Aquitaine, 107

    Arabians, 68

    Arbuthnot, 250

    -- Sir W., 343

    Ardan, bishop, 30

    Armstrong, J., 307

    Aromatics, 92

    Arpents, 58

    Ars bibendi, 187, 218

    Arthour, Romance of, 23

    Ascham, Roger, 158

    Assay, 121

    Assheton, Dr. W., 244

    Athelstan, 35

    Athenæum, the, 313

    Auxerre, wine of, 79

    Avranches, Henry of, 85

    Bacharach, 221

    Bagford, John, 21

    Band of Hope, 382

    Banquets, 8

    Barbauld, Mrs., 263

    Barry, Sir E., 341

    Bastard wine, 90, 120, 170

    Beakers, 187

    Beaulieu, 79

    Beaumont, 151, 167

    Bede, 22, 25, 27

    -- Cuthbert, 332

    Bedford Arms, 320

    Beer, 119, 224

    Beerhouse Act, 345, 349

    Bellarmines, 167

    Bellasyse, Sir Henry, 240

    Benedictines, 39

    Bentley, Dr., 265

    Beowulf, 11

    Berkeley, Henry, 364

    Betony, 46

    Beveridge, Bishop, 269

    Bid-ales, 81

    Binding-Tuesday, 52

    Birley, Mr. Hugh, 368

    Bishop, 87

    Blanche-Nef, 63

    Bloodvessels, 310

    Bloomfield, R., 329

    Blue-ribbonism, 382

    Boethius, 31

    Bolingbroke, 294

    Boniface, 27

    Booth, Archbishop, 121

    Bordeaux, 65, 66, 170

    Boswell, 302

    Bosworth, 130

    Bracket, 147

    Bradbury, Mr. E., 383

    Brandy, 214, 223, 318

    Brewery Company, 119

    Bridal cup, 274

    Bride ales, 81, 123, 124

    -- bush, 123

    -- stake, 123

    -- wain, 123

    Bridport, Giles de, 84

    Bristol, 142

    Brome, A., 196

    Brook, 59

    Brougham, Lord, 357

    Brown, Tom, 245

    Browne, Dr. Peter, 282

    Brunswick Mum, 224

    Buckle, Mr., 376

    Bull and Butcher, 130

    Burgh, James, 311

    Burial ceremony, 274

    Burleigh, Lord, 150

    Burnet, Bishop, 141

    Burns, 335, 377

    Burns, Dr. D., 352, 361

    Burton, R., 180

    -- ale, 254

    Bush, the sign of, 7, 198

    Bute, Lord, 337

    Butlerage, 88

    Butler’s ale, 171

    -- ‘Hudibras,’ 221

    Buttered ale, 224

    Buttery, 181

    Button, 257

    Buzzing, 318

    Byron, 319

    Cabarets, 209

    Calves’ Head Club, 250, 312

    Cambridge, 142

    Cameron, Dr., 370

    Canary, 67, 132, 165, 189, 235

    Candia, 131, 170

    Candle, wines sold by the, 223

    Canterbury, 21, 45, 59, 142

    Cantilupe, Walter of, 83

    Caprike, 147

    Cardinal, 87

    Caritates, 39

    Carlowitz, 171

    Carlyle, 381

    Carnarvon, Conference at, 358

    Carouse, 90

    Carpenter, Dr., 382

    Carr, Dr. R., 245

    Cartaret, Sir G., 227

    -- Lord, 294

    Catch and Glee Club, 342

    Cate, 147

    Catharine of Braganza, 231

    Cavaliers, 213

    Cecil, Robert, 150

    Chablis, 222

    Chamberlain, the scheme, 369

    Champagne, 221, 252

    Champion of England, 237

    Chandos, Marquis of, 351

    Chapter punch, 313

    Charles I., 186, 200, 201, 313

    -- II., 219, 233

    -- V., 135

    Charms, religious, 47

    Charneco, 170

    Chaucer, 41, 95

    Chenetone, 58

    Chequers, the, 115

    Chertham, 59

    Chester, 142

    Chesterfield, 295

    Chios, 131

    Chocolate, 217

    Christmas, 108, 253

    -- wort, 47

    Church, action of the, 37, 47, 83, 122, 129, 193

    Church-ales, 81, 116

    Churchill, C., 320

    Church wort, 47

    -- Temperance Society, 382

    Cider, 4, 21, 23, 59, 86, 91, 209, 224, 311, 317

    -- cellar, 326

    -- tax, 338

    Clamber-clown, 333

    Claré, 23

    Clarence, Duke of, 120

    Clarendon, 201

    Claret, 247

    Clarke, Sir A., 382

    Clarry, 29, 58, 77, 87, 92

    Clear ale, 22

    Clergy, their hospitality, 26

    Clerk-ales, 81

    Cloak, drunkard’s, 134, 218

    Cloves-hoo, 28

    Clubs, 151, 214, 249

    Cockaigne, the land of, 89

    Cock-ale, 333

    Cock and Pynot, 240

    Coffee, 215, 231, 241

    Colchester, 142

    Coldingham, 38

    Coleridge, S. T., 321

    Colin, Council of, 193

    Collation, 39, 89

    Collier, Jeremy, 238

    Colton, 59

    Comissationes, 8

    Commons, select committee of, 361

    Commonwealth, 209

    Congiary, 210

    Congreve, W., 277

    Convocation Committee, 371

    Conybeare, W. J., 382

    Corbet, 161

    Cordials, 91, 299, 346

    Cornwall, Barry, 322

    Costrel, 77

    Coventry, the Lord keeper, 197

    Cowen, Mr. J., 368

    Cowley, 195

    Cowper, 331

    Crambo, 176

    Crashaw, 202, 204

    Credence, 122

    Crespi, Dr. A., 382

    Cromwell, 213

    -- Thomas, 129

    Crown and Sceptre, 274

    Crown, the, 87, 125, 197, 316

    Cruikshank, G., 381

    Curfew, 88

    Curmi, a drink made of barley, 2

    Cuthbert, S., 27, 28, 64

    Dagger ale, 147, 155

    Danes, the, 36, 44, 47, 49, 58, 159

    Darlington Registers, 207

    Dashwood, Sir F., 337

    David, St., Synod of, 17, 18

    Decker, T., 175

    Dedication, 40

    De Foe, 242, 275

    Dele, 67

    Denmark, King of, 173

    -- Prince George of, 255

    Depression of spirits, 300

    Disney, John, 268, 385

    Disraeli, I., 387

    Distillation, 67, 223, 292

    Distilleries, 271

    Distillery Act, 344

    Domesday Book, 58, 59

    Domitian, his restrictive edict, 6

    Dorset beer, 225, 273

    Dragon’s milk, 148

    Dragon, the red, 130

    Dram-drinkers, 311

    Drum, the, 198

    Drunkards, 219

    Drunken Administration, 294

    Drunkenness, 69, 118, 129, 138, 155, 178, 247, 317

    -- punishment for, 184

    Dryden, 233

    Dunbar, W., 128

    Dundas, 323

    Dunlop, John, 379

    Dunstan, 35, 37, 39, 61

    D’Urfey, Tom, 132

    Earle, Bishop, 198

    Easter ales, 81, 116

    Ebrietatis encomium, 330

    Ecgbright, excerpts of, 27, 28, 29

    Eden, Sir F., 384

    Edgar, 35, 36, 39, 41

    Edmund, Archbishop, 84

    -- King, 34

    Edmunds, Dr., 382

    Edmundsbury, St., 60, 75

    Edward (son of Edgar), 42

    -- I., 86, 87

    -- II., 88, 93, 94, 137

    -- III., 107, 108

    -- IV., 125

    -- V., 125

    -- VI., 141

    Edwin, 26

    Edwy, 34

    Eldon, Lord Chancellor, 323

    Elfric, 37

    Elfrida, 42

    Elia, Essays of, 322

    Elizabeth, Queen, 145, 148

    Elliott, Sir G., 315

    Ellison, Canon, 367

    Elphege, St., 45

    Elveston, 116

    Ely, 21, 120

    -- Synod of, 84

    Elyot, Sir T., 136

    Emerson, Mr. R. W., 374

    Encænia, 40

    Entire, 273

    Epiphany, 194

    Ethelfleda, 35

    Ethelred, 42, 44, 47

    Ethelwold, 30

    Etheridge, 223

    Evelyn, 211

    Everlasting Club, 214

    Evesham, 60, 79

    Exeter, 142

    Exeter, Book of, 19

    Exeter, synod of, 88

    Fair-ease, 89

    Falstaff, 113, 158

    Fanshawe, Sir R., 196

    Farquhar, 251

    Feathers, the, 198

    Fever, 318

    Fines imposed, 22, 217

    Flagon, 93, 187

    Flambard, 62

    Fleece, the Golden, 197

    Fletcher, 151

    -- of Saltoun, 242

    Foresters, 82

    Fox, C. J., 324

    Fox-drunk, 153

    Franklin, 278

    Freeman, E. A., 54

    French wine, 65

    Friday, Good, 253

    Frontignac, 222

    Fulgentius, 38

    Garhiofilac, 58, 87

    Garnarde, 91

    Garraway’s, 223

    Gascoigne, George, 155

    Gascony, 66, 67, 78, 90, 108, 109, 126, 142, 235

    Gay, 276

    Geneva, 275

    Geoffrey Plantagenet, 72

    George I., 271

    -- II., 285

    -- III., 313

    -- IV., 315, 341

    Gildas, 17

    Gild-scipe, 53

    Giles, St. (Reading), 52

    Gilliflower sack, 332

    Gillray, 326, 340

    Gin Act, 287

    Gin-drinking, 271, 293, 306

    Giraldus Cambrensis, 68

    Give-ales, 81, 123

    Gladstone, Right Hon. W. E., 366

    Glass-breaking, 219, 329

    Globe, the, 198

    Gloucester, 142

    -- Vale of, 59

    Glutton-masses, 123

    Goat-drunk, 153

    Gododin, 14

    Goldsmith, O., 303

    Googe, Barnabie, 168

    Gothenburg system, 368, 369

    Gough, R., the hoax played upon, 50

    Grafol, 24

    Grave-beer, 125

    Greek wines, 91

    Greene, R., 165

    Gregory the Great, 25, 40

    Greville, C., 315

    Grier, Rev. Canon, 369

    Grindrod, Dr., 218

    Grocers’ licence, 339

    Grog, 272

    Grosseteste, Bishop, 83, 84

    Guage, 86

    Guest-house, 64, 109

    Guienne, Duchy of, 65, 66, 126, 142

    Guilds, 24, 53

    Gunning, H., 316

    Hafiz, 309

    Hale, Sir Matthew, 239

    Half-and-half, 272

    Hall, Bishop, 181

    Halling, 59, 93

    Halliwell-Phillips, J. O., 49

    Hampson, Sir G., 349

    Hanten, 58

    Hardicanute, 49

    Hardwicke House, 201

    Harold, 44

    Harris, Dr. R., 218

    Harrison, William, 144

    Harsnet, Archbishop, 206

    Hart, the White, 198

    Hastings, battle of, 54

    Hawkins, Sir W., 260

    Hawthorn bush, 130

    Hazlitt, 321

    Healths, see ‘Toastings’

    Help-ales, 81

    Henry I., 61-63

    -- II., 66-73

    -- III., 85

    -- IV., 111

    -- V., 113

    -- VI., 119

    -- VII., 126, 129

    -- VIII., 130, 133, 220

    Herbert, G., 181

    Hereditary drunkenness, 172

    Hereford, 142

    Hereward, 57

    Herrick, 193

    Hervey, Lord, 289

    Heslop, Dr., 382

    Heywood, 143, 186, 197

    Higden, H., 243

    Hippocras, 29, 58, 91, 170

    Hob-nob, 48

    Hock, 171, 222

    Hockamore, 221

    Hock-day, 46, 50, 53

    Hock-tide, 177

    Hogarth, 305, 320

    Holeburne, 58

    Holidays, 137

    Holland, Lady, 323

    Hollands, 241

    Hollingburn, 59

    Hollocke, 155

    Honey, 92

    Hook, Theodore, 320

    Hops, 119, 133, 208

    Horkey, 330

    Horn, the, 198

    Hospitia, 64

    Hostle, 187

    Howell’s Letters, 158, 208

    Huff-cap, 147

    Hugmatee, 333

    Hull, 142

    Humpty-dumpty, 333

    Hungary, wine of, 171

    Huntingdon brewery, 213

    -- county feast, 254

    Hunt, Leigh, 323

    Hydromel, 3, 332

    Ine, laws of, 23

    Ingelow, Jean, 175

    Innkeepers, 197

    Innocent III., 79

    Inns, 5, 87, 109

    Intemperance, 2, 8

    Ipswich, 142

    Islep, Archbishop, 122

    Jacks, 186

    Jacobites, Songs of, 249

    James I., 158, 170

    -- II., 236

    Jeffries, Judge, 240

    John Baptist, St., 48, 116

    John, King, 79, 80

    John of Salisbury, 57, 68

    Johnson, Dr. S., 195, 299

    Jonson, Ben, 81, 151, 161, 165, 166

    Jorevin, M., 210

    ‘Judith,’ an Anglo-Saxon poem, 19

    Justices of the Peace, 127, 137, 142, 146

    Katharine of Arragon, 92

    Kenilworth, 148

    Kentish ale, 130

    Kerr, Dr. Norman, 382

    Kethe, W., 118, 154

    King’s Head, 131, 197

    Kingsley, C., 380

    Kingston-upon-Thames, 118

    Kirkham, Walter de, 83

    Kit-cat, 250

    Knight, Charles, 345

    Knitting cup, 124

    Knock-me-down, 333

    Lamb, Charles, 176, 321

    Lamb-ales, 81

    Lambarde, W., 60

    Lambeth, 49

    Lambswool, 72, 148

    Lanfranc, 56

    Langton, Archbishop, 84

    Laud, 200

    ‘Lawn sleeves,’ 87

    Lawrence, S. (Reading), 51

    Lawson, Sir W., 371, 383

    League of the Holy Cross, 382

    Leet-ales, 81

    Legislation, 36, 78, 184, 185, 337, 357

    Leicester, Countess of, 90

    Leicester, Earl of, 148, 158

    Lesbos, 131

    Licensing, 183, 185, 206, 219, 344

    Liebig, 377

    Lincoln, 142

    Lindsay, Sir David, 136

    Liquamen, 38

    Liveries, 111

    Llywarch, Hên., 16

    Local option, 371

    London, 142

    London ale, 96, 97

    Long beards, 167

    Lonsdale, Lord, 289

    Lords’ committee, 293

    Loseley manuscripts, 135

    Lydgate, John, 119

    Lyon-drunk, 152

    Macaulay, Lord, 225, 228, 237, 255

    Mad dog, 148

    Magee, Bishop, 375

    Malaga, 132

    Malmsey, 67, 121, 126, 131, 189

    Malt, 88, 93, 145, 338

    Malt-worms, 180

    Malvesie, 120

    Mapes, Walter, 69

    March ale, 148, 264

    Marisco, Richard de, 83

    Marlowe, 165

    Marmion, Shakerly, 167

    Marriage ceremony, 274

    Martin, St., 59, 73

    Martin-drunk, 153

    Mary, St. (Reading), 52

    Mary, Queen, 143

    Maudlen-drunk, 152

    May games, 85

    Maypole, 85

    Mazarine, Duchess of, 229

    Mazers, 124, 186

    Mead, 3, 15, 21, 22, 30

    Mead-mowings, 312

    Mermaid, the, 151

    Metheglin, 3, 4, 209, 225

    Methuin treaty, 250

    Michael, St., 44, 48

    Midsummer-ales, 81, 312

    Mild ale, 22

    Mill, John Stuart, 373

    Milton, 202, 203

    Minstrels, 149

    Misericord, 39

    Misson, M., 248

    Mites of wine, 86

    Mitre, the, 198

    Moggins, 186

    Mohun, Lord, 256

    Monachism, 35, 38, 39, 89

    Monasteries, 22, 30, 64, 75, 129

    Monk, General, 161, 225

    Monmouth, Duke of, 241

    Montgomery, James, 345

    Morat, 49, 58

    Morton, Archbishop, 129

    Moselle, 222

    Mountain wine, 314

    Mourning Crown, the, 201

    Muggle, 178

    Mug-houses, 281

    Mum, 221, 224

    Muscadell, 67, 91, 120, 235

    Myrk, John, instructions for parish priests, 106

    Nairne, Baroness, 347

    Naogeorgus, 154

    Nash, T., 165, 388

    National Temperance League, 382

    Netherlands, the, 247

    Neville, Archbishop, 121

    Newcastle, 142

    Nicholson, James, 205

    Nicking, 62

    Niebuhr, 54

    Nippitatum, 154

    Nordhome, 60

    Normans, the, 55

    North, Roger, 217

    Northcote, Sir Stafford, 384

    Northumberland, Earl of, 128

    Norwich, 142

    Nunneries, 38

    Obbæ, 30

    Occleve, 112, 151

    October ale, 264, 297

    Ofener, 171

    Okebrook, 116

    O’Keefe, John, 329

    Olave, St., 48

    Oldcastle, Sir John, 208

    Oldham, John, 222

    Orange, Prince of, 226

    Organs, 209

    Orleance, 170

    Osey, 91, 108, 120

    Oxford, 142

    -- ale, 273

    -- Earl of, 255

    Pachomius, 38

    Paganalia, 25, 40

    Pageants, 219

    Parmizant, 176

    Parnell, T., 277

    Parr, Dr., 232, 340

    Patton, Colonel Wilson, 363

    Peckham, Archbishop, 88

    Peel, Sir R., 353

    Peg-tankards (see ‘Pins’), 61, 62

    Perlin, Stephen, 138

    Permissive Bill, 367, 371

    Perry, 209

    Peterborough, 58

    Peter of Blois, 68, 69

    Peters, Hugh, 206

    Pharaoh, old, 333

    Philip and Mary, 143

    Philips, John, 267

    Phillips, J. O. Halliwell, 163

    Piggins, 186

    Piment, 21, 23, 29, 49, 58, 77, 91

    Pins, drinking to, 36, 61

    Pitt, 316, 323, 325

    Playfair, W., 336

    Pledging, 42, 74, 139

    Plough, the, 197

    Plowman, Vision of Piers, 105

    Poet’s Head, the, 201

    Poore, Richard, Bishop of Sarum, 82

    Poor rates, 117

    Pope, 87, 216, 267

    Porson, 326

    Port, 324

    Porter, 272, 273

    Possets, 162

    Powlett, Sir Amias, 133

    Priests, 37

    Pril-wril, 48

    Prior, 263

    Prisa, 78, 86, 88

    Probus, his revocation of the edict of Domitian, 6

    Prohibition, 204, 206

    Protectorate, 209

    Prounet-cups, 187

    Pryme, G., 318

    Public-house Regulation Act, 343

    Pulteney, 294

    Punch, 312, 313, 321

    Purl, 314

    Pymme, Mr., 207

    Quin, James, 297

    Rainbow, the, 216

    Rake’s progress, 306

    Raleigh, Sir Walter, 151

    Raspis, 147

    Rechabites, 382

    Resolution House, 240

    Resolution, the, 245

    Restoration, the, 219

    Revenue, 336, 385

    Reynolds, Sir J., 302

    Rhenish wine, 67, 108

    Rich, Barnaby, 178

    Richard I., 73, 77

    Richard II., 108

    -- III., 125

    Richardson, Dr. B. W., 301, 382

    -- Judge, 200

    Ridley, Bishop, 143

    Rigbie, J., 211

    Rochelle, 91, 142

    Rochester, Earl of, 227

    Rockingham, 65

    Rosa solis, 147

    Rosee Pasqua, 215

    Rose, Mount, 91

    Rose, the, 198, 265

    Roundheads, 213

    Rowena, 12

    Roxburghe Club, 313

    Roxburghe revels, 313

    Rum, 241

    Rummer, the, 263

    Rumney, 67, 91, 120

    Ruskin, 380

    Russin, 90

    Rylands, Mr. Peter, 367

    Ryswick, Peace of, 250

    Sack, 67, 113, 132, 170, 189, 260

    Sackville, Charles, 228

    Sala, Mr. A., 375

    Salisbury, 142

    Saloop, 273

    Salutation and Cat, 321

    Salvian, 9

    Samuelson, Mr., 366

    Santlac, 59

    Savage, R., 298

    Saxony, wines of, 78

    Scóp, 10

    Scot-ales, 81, 84

    Scott, Sir W., 56, 64, 74, 80, 305

    Sedley, Sir C., 222, 228

    Selwyn-Ibbetson, Sir H., 367

    Sévigné, Madame de, 217

    Shakespeare, 47, 49, 151, 156

    Sheep-drunk, 152

    Shenstone, 304

    Sheridan, 315, 323, 343

    Sherlock, 156

    Sherry, 67

    Ship, the, 198

    Shirley, Sir A., 215, 241

    Shrewsbury, 142

    Signboards, 7, 41

    Simeon, Rev. C., 317

    Skelton, John, 135

    Skinner, Cyriac, 203

    Smith, Mr. J. Abel, 367

    Smith, Sydney, 346

    Snowdon, the Barons of, 85

    Sodalitates, 53

    Somerville, 297

    Somes, Mr. J., 366

    Sops, 124

    Southampton, 142, 185

    Southey, 336

    Southwell, 320

    Spain, wines of, 108

    Spencer, 156

    Spirits, 133, 171, 310

    Stabbing while drinking, 47

    Stanhope, Earl, 371

    Stapleton, Bishop, 93

    Star, the, 198

    Stavenby, Bishop, 83

    Steele, R., 262

    Stevenson, Mr., 371

    Stickback, 333

    Still, Bishop, 139

    Stirrup-cup, 144

    Stratford-on-Avon, 163

    Stubbes, Philip, 139, 153

    Stum, 67

    Succession, war of, 252

    Suein, 59

    Sunday closing, 118, 269, 364, 371

    Surrey, Earl of, 136

    Sweyne, 44, 52, 58

    Swift, J., 295

    Swine-drunk, 152

    Swithin’s, St., Priory, 89

    Symposii ænigmata, 20

    Tabarde Inn, 98

    Tait, Archbishop, 369

    Taliesin, 16

    Tankards, 187

    Tarrings, 91

    Taverns, 29, 36, 37, 38, 41, 47, 64, 127, 135, 184, 197,
    209, 274, 278-282, 298, 303, 336

    Taylor, Jeremy, 202

    -- John, 201

    Tea, 231, 300, 307

    Temperance societies, 355

    Templars, Good, 382

    Temple, Sir W., 230

    Tenedos, 131

    Tennyson, A., 383

    Thackeray, 275

    Thatched House Tavern, 342

    Theodore, Archbishop, 27

    Theodulf, 47

    Theologicum, 147

    Thompson, Sir H., 382

    Thomson, 33, 327

    Thoresby, Archbishop, 41, 123

    Thornbury Castle, 128

    Thorney, 59

    Threads, three, 272, 333

    Tippling Act, 291

    Tire, 147

    Tithe-ale, 81

    Toast, 177, 283

    Toasting, 7, 8, 12, 39, 42, 44, 48, 124, 131, 152, 178,
    190, 210, 211, 239, 247, 282, 348

    Tobacco, 209, 214

    Tokay, 171

    Townley, Rev. J., 307

    Tradesmen, 319

    Trevelyan, G. O., 324

    Trinity College, Cambridge, 266

    Trumpet, the, 262

    Tuck, Friar, 75

    Tusser, Thomas, 168

    Twango, 179

    Universities, the, 316

    Upsy-Freeze, 176

    Usher, 202

    Verjuice, 120

    Vernage, 91, 146

    Victoria, Queen, 358

    Villiers, C. P., 361

    Villiers, George, 227

    Vines, 6, 7, 21, 58

    Vine, the, 198

    Vineyards, 21, 22, 59, 60, 65, 79, 92, 223, 341

    Wakes, 37, 40, 116, 199, 312

    Waller, Edmund, 230, 231, 232

    Walpole, 295

    Walter, Hubert, his canons, 76

    Waltheof, 56

    Ward, Ned, 264

    Ward, S., 179

    Ware, 58

    Warenne, Earls of, 125

    Warham, Archbishop, 97, 130

    Warmth from alcohol, 310

    Warwick, Guy, Earl of, 231

    Wassail, 131

    Wassail-bowl, 39, 193

    Wassailing, 131, 178

    Weaver, Thomas, 205

    Weddyn-ale, 81

    Welsh ale, 22, 23, 46

    Wenceslaus, St., 47

    Westminster, 58, 142

    Weymouth, Lord, 325

    Whiskins, 186

    Whitaker, Dr. T., 213

    Whitbread, 314

    Whitsun-ale, 81, 116, 312

    Wilfrid, 25

    William I., 56, 61

    -- II., 61

    -- III., 241, 249

    -- IV., 348

    Winchester, 89, 142

    Window-beer, 125

    Windsor, 59, 109

    Wine, 5, 6, 7, 21, 22, 30, 46, 366

    Wither, G., 176, 177

    Wolfe, General, 160

    Wolsey, 133, 143

    Women, drink amongst, 275

    Woodville, Elizabeth, 92

    Worcester, 142

    Wordsworth, 334

    World’s End, the, 198

    Wormwood, 67

    Worsley, Sir R., 341

    Wulfrid, 22

    Wulstan, 57

    Wyther, 53, 176

    Xeres, 132

    Yard of ale, 237

    Young, E., 307

    -- T., 178

    Younge, R., 219

    Yule, 23, 74

    Zosimus, 68

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Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.